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Thread: Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants

  1. #11
    FRACTALICIOUS Array phobik's Avatar
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    Vasilisa shared something about this exact topic We, the Web Kids
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  2. #12
    4x9 Array cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    How important do you see the differences being between people who grew up in these different eras? How does it impact how people think, learn, work and play? Are there barriers to understanding each other?
    I'm not sure how huge the gap is between people of the differing eras, as I have observed plenty of people of my parents' generation (60+) who happily embrace the cell phones, Kindles, ipods, computers, facebook, etc, and others who remain oblivious and uninterested in it. And of my generation (I was born in 78) it's rather a mixed bag as well, with of course most embracing, but some being opposed to or not sold on elements of it. I'm not sure how many of those born exclusively in it - i.e. the 'Digital Natives' - would be opposed to it, though, as they wouldn't know of anything different and many might not think about anything different / different ways. Any barriers probably have to do with different value sets and lifestyle choices - and conflicts arising if the lifestyle preferences don't allign (see my example at the end).

    I have mixed feelings on it. I think some of it is great, but there's also a bit of a level of resentment regarding much of the world revolving around computers now, as my ideal world would not be sitting in front of a computer all day, or having to sit in front of a computer to get things accomplished/work. And, my ideal world isn't being available 24/7 via a phone (I didn't get a cell phone until 2009), or having a need for 24/7 access to the internet.

    But too - at least in todays' day and age - there are obviously still ways to tailor all of this to your preferences, and use the technology however you see fit. As an example, I don't have texting capability on my phone (I don't even have a smartphone.. I just don't have a personal need for it at this time) as I find the concept rather annoying. I'm also not a fan of online chatting - I just dislike the medium; it doesn't really jive well with how I process things or like to carry on convos/interact. Re. texting, it's kind of interesting to me that this becomes an 'imposition' on others who might be mildly annoyed that they can't text me, but I guess I just don't care. Email works instead (I will say that I ADORE email ), or a call. And if it's not important enough for those two options, I'd rather not have the text sent my way anyway. Everyones' life goes on, I have good relationships, I still get together with people and do fun things...
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  3. #13
    lurking Array Rasofy's Avatar
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  4. #14
    Feline Member Array kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    How important do you see the differences being between people who grew up in these different eras? How does it impact how people think, learn, work and play? Are there barriers to understanding each other?
    Well, I'm 40, so there's no question that I'd be classified as a "digital immigrant" -- but I can't say that I agree with the classifications, tell you the truth. It sort of implies that people who didn't grow up with internet access, etc. lack know-how or understanding of such tools. When in many ways, I don't find that to be the case. I played Pong (and other games) as a kid, played multiplayer games (Gauntlet!) back in the 80's, wrote a check for membership to a modem-run BBS in college, and have been basically a daily user of the internet since 1993, back before http was a big deal (believe it or not, usenet, direct telnet, gopher, and ftp sites were more frequently used back then). I've grown up along with the technology, I guess you could say (as far as I can be considered a grown-up, even now :p). As far as understanding of the technical aspects of technology, I think I have a better grasp than most, regardless of age.

    Of course, I'm a bit of an outlier in the opposite direction, as well. I didn't have a cell phone until I was 38. I rarely use it for anything but web browsing on the train to work, and for the most part, I don't text (nor do my friends). I have a strong dislike for social networking, and would never dream of "sharing" aspects of my life publicly. I don't believe in "sharing" music and movies.

    While I have thoughts on changes to how people think (a little bit -- instant access to information makes us both productive and lazy), learn (no significant changes), work (more efficient -- both good and bad -- being "on call" sucks), and play (video games, etc.) I think thar the largest effect has been the "instant communication factor". Cell phones (as much as I dislike them) have probably done more to instantiate change in society than the internet alone. When I moved away from home for the first time, I went a couple of weeks without talking to my parents... which was no big deal. I work at a university... and I hear stories about people who talk to their parents a few times a day. Hard to clarify in words without more time than I have right now, but that's a good example of how that's changed.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Array Viridian's Avatar
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    I was born on a cusp, so to speak - in 1991, before the social networking boom, back when I did have the internet but still used chat rooms to talk with complete strangers about nothing in particular (kinda weird in hindsight ). On one hand, I love how convenient access to information has been, and how it became easier for me to share my thoughts with others and interact with them in general (e.g. this forum). On the other hand, there's kind of an information overload...

    I might be something of an outlier, though - my mother downloads more movies and uses Facebook more extensively than I do. ^_^''
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

  6. #16


    i was born 1985 and consider myself mostly digital native....

    but regardless of what i had, compared that with my 5yo, who i was teaching how to spell by guiding him through typing the names of the characters for coloring pages & favorite flash games, talking to his savta and doda (my mother and sister) on skype while playing "bip the nose" through the webcam, or the fact that whenever we got an idea for a craft all we had to do was google instructions, or that we play "google earth" and explore the world, or overcoming certain speech difficulties by talking to the phone's speech-to-text program, or the fact i was able to instantly find hebrew cartoons to help me teach him his second language. then there's the fact that the boy played portal and minecraft on our lap (a puzzle game & a lego-like sandbox game), and whenever we went to the park we either had to have an imaginary portal gun and jumping between pretend portals, or we where cutting down trees and building houses (with way too many doors) with a magical hand... when i was his age my imagination didn't even include those concepts... not to mention the fact that before making parenting decisions i could research articles and studies about child psychology and get feedback to specific questions and concerns in an instant where a huge influence and allowed us to make wiser choices as parents.

    i might be a digital native, but that doesn't compare to what kids grow up with today.

  7. #17
    Honor Thy Inferior Array Such Irony's Avatar
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    Technically I'm a digital immigrant but I live life like a digital native. I can't imagine life now without Internet, cell phones, etc. even though I grew up with these things in my childhood and did just fine.
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  8. #18
    Secret Sex Freak Array Hazashin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    I did have the internet but still used chat rooms to talk with complete strangers about nothing in particular (kinda weird in hindsight )''
    Oh, how I remember those days...
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  9. #19
    Member Array DisneyFanGirl's Avatar
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    When I was a kid, my parents refused to let my brother and me have a game system. We thought it was SO unfair since EVERYONE else had a Nintendo. But we had the latest in computer technology so I think we were still learning more useful lessons. I remember VHS tapes and cassette tapes in the car. We didn't have cable so I definitely missed out on the awesome 90s childhood. I guess I'm an immigrant despite the fact I was born in 1990 when I should have seen a lot of increases in technology resources. I love looking at yearbook pictures from elementary school and seeing the computer lab pictures. Those were some old models!!

  10. #20


    I am old, and I find myself to be a sheep on the technology adoption curve (yet work in IT, go figure..)

    I hate texting, dont like video games and I dont even like TV that much. I like these book-things and these plant-things that grow in that out of the door place.

    My son, now 16, doesnt really understand the out-of-the-door place. I once sent him outside to play at the age of 11. He then repeatedly hit himself in the head with rocks as he kept throwing them onto the roof of the house, watching them roll off, then fall on his face. I had to explain that it was this amazing magical force called gravity to him.

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