Before the late 1990s. Our only connection to history was the interpretation of history book writers and our parents'/grandparents' selective memory. However, with the incarnation of the internet, every computer in the world can speak to every other computer and the database of information is stored for an indeterminable time, expansively creating an archive of every moment in human existence. With the increased access of computers and internet, people who would not have originally had access to information sharing worldwide are now capable of making their voices heard. As a result, people are forced to recognize that everyone does not necessarily think, act, or believe the same way they do (false consensus). Simultaneously, people are beginning to notice (some sooner than others), that everyone is pretty much the same in terms of basic desires, which personalizes people based on ideas as opposed to appearances.
Also, as a result of all human interaction becoming codified on a worldwide web of computer networks that represent a large portion of the world population, any concept is searchable and arguable. History, as a result, is becoming harder to fabricate and people are being forced to interact with their superstitions and misunderstandings in a very logical way. Take pop culture, for example: it is very difficult to make the argument that things were "better" in previous generations because we can google semblances of reality television from the 1950s in the form of corny game shows and extremely racist/sexist soap operas and family programming (don't you find it interesting that it's referred to as "programming"? I do). Furthermore, per our google searches, we can discover that for every "hit" throughout history, there were about 31,500 copycats that could easily be referred to as misses in every genre of every industry throughout the world.
Even more notably, people are being forced to eat their words, as they type them into public forum almost every hour of every day of their lives. People are beginning to see that civility online protects them more than it does their target of vitriol, as many recent divorce cases, copyright infringement lawsuits, and felony charges were handed down almost flawlessly due to the social networking candor of the parties involved.
In short, the internet finally prevents any thinking person from taking your ridiculousness seriously. In shorter short: I can glean your central nervous system's processing speed from your facebook page...saves me from uncomfortable analog interactions. :-) In even shorter short: don't fight. Google it!