Technology. When I was eleven, I listened to the radio. My son at eleven does the Internet. In 1995, America followed State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson via television. Today, State of Florida v. George Zimmerman is followed on Twitter and Facebook.
The big difference is the instant democratization that social networks bring not only to how we access and engage entertainment, but also to how we engage our forums of government, specifically how we opine on how well it is working.
Today we not only see how the sausage is made, but can comment on how brutal the sausage making is.