I really ought to be able to come up with a better post title than this, but I just can't seem to. So, anyway, I feel like this is something that has really jumped out to me recently in adult fiction, particularly thriller/mystery type books. And I'm wondering if it's just me or if it annoys other people as well.
I'm currently listening to Long Gone by Alafair Burke and so far there have been explanations of what a pre-paid cell phone is and why a teenager whose parents won't buy them a cell phone might purchase one; what a Facebook page is and how "tagging" someone in a photo works; and Google Maps/GPS and how a person might use to find a location.
As much as I'm enjoying the book, I find that these explanations totally take me out of the story. All I can think is "Are there really American readers out there who don't know what Facebook is or have no idea why a police officer might use GPS?" I've noticed the same thing in other adult novels, but not really in YA as much (for obvious reasons). It really makes the book feel dated to me - I automatically assume it was published several years ago, although many, including long gone, are very recently published.
I can understand why books intended for adults may need to explain technology in more depth than books for young adults, and I think in many cases it's appropriate (Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy for example). But I'm wondering where the line is? At what point will authors no longer feel it necessary to explain what a Facebook Wall is?
Do you think we've reached that point? What technology descriptions do you think are necessary for adult fiction and what do you think authors should assume the general public will understand?