Digital Natives

In our New Media Masterclass we explain the difference between a Digital Native and a Digital Immigrant. The latter is a person who still remembers that queeking sound of a 56K modem, or for that matter, really had a life without a mobile phone. Digital Natives, usually younger than 30 years, grew up with the internet. For them, internet is the same as color television was for me back when I was a kid (“No seriously mom, did TV ever only had black and white?”). There’s can be a major difference between Immigrants in Natives as far as adoption of new technologies is concerned. I say ‘can be’, because not all Digital Immigrants are Digital Losers. I know a lot of smart senior citizens who are very, very clever using modern technologies. Then again, I also know a lot of young people who don’t give a sh*t about the internet and all that it has to offer. And that’s of course OK. Ket’s be honest, you do need an analogue life as well in order to function properly in society.

But what about people who are born now, or like in the case of my daughter, two years ago. Het life expectancy is no doubt about 100 years and before she can remember she has been playing with the iPad as if it is her first Fisher Price. With what kind of technologies will she grew up, knowing that for many people the ‘Star Trek age’ had finally arrived?

Some people find it unwise to let young kids play with a device such as the iPad. They say that kids should play outside. And I think that is true. Kids need to go outside, meet other kids, build tree houses and fall down from it. But I also think that kids will grow up in another world. A world where technology is getting faster, and thus the pace of the entire society. We might not like it, but that’s a fact. If my kid likes to play on the iPad for 30 minutes a day, after she has been playing outside, that’s OK by me. And if it learns her to speed up her thinking and motoric abilities down the process, lucky her…

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