What Companies Should Know About Digital Natives

Left: Dr. Urs Gasser of Harvard’s Berkman Center, who focuses on Digital Natives.

I’m live blogging from Corporate Social Networking Conference in Amsterdam, and listening to Dr. Urs Gasser of Harvard’s Berkman Center, his website and twitter account (works with friend Doc Searls) who coined the term “Digital Natives”. In my opinion, the Berkman Center is the leading think tank in academia focused on the internet and impacts to culture.

[By age 20, kids will have spent 20,000 hours online –the same amount of time a professional piano player would have spent practicing –Dr. Urs Gasser]

The kids born after 1980 are often thought of as Digital Natives but age doesn’t always matter as the generation is defined on: access to digital technologies since birth, age, and have the skills to use the digital technologies. Those who come before these digital natives are referred to as digital immigrants. For what it’s worth, I’m right in between both, giving me a perspective of both worlds.

Key Characteristics of Digital Natives:

They interact with the peers across the globe: This impacts employers, brands, teachers, parents, as this first generation enters the workforce.

Always online: By age 20, kids will have spent 20,000 hours online –the same amount of time a professional piano player would have spent practicing Urs Gasser, paraphrased
Multiple identities, personal and social, shared online and offline (blurring): Online representation is the same as physical representation: what your clothes, friends, vehicles say about you.

Extensive disclosure of personal data: 35% of girls in US are writing a blog vs 20% boys. Opportunity for HR departments to learn more about their employees, but guess what? They Google you too.

Culture of sharing: The default behavior is information sharing, not only do they have the right to speak, but to be heard. Risk: breach of confidentiality is hip, digital natives are fans of wikileaks.

Creators, no longer passive users: This generation creates their own content and shares their opinion online, see the Forrester’s social Technographics to learn about the data.

Information processing habits: Pointed out that the second most popular social network was YouTube. They often ‘graze’ the headlines and don’t often read the full article. (I guess few natives will read this far? Prove me wrong in the comments). Opportunities: companies should allow natives to increase creativity to rip, mix, burn content to encourage interaction.

Peer collaboration, online activism: They often experience work with community builders, and are responsive to intrinsic motizations.

Learning through browsing: Yes wrestles with amount & quality of information, generational “multitakers”. They may not be able to identify qualified and expert sources. “If it’s online, it must be true!”

On a related note, this month, I’m starting a research paper on Social Behaviors of Generation X, which is a bit older than Generation Y, if you’re a brand or agency that has case studies of how you’ve reached Gen X using social technologies, I want to know. Email me at jowyang at Forrester.com

Pics from the event, at a converted industrial complex westergasfabriek “Western Gas Factory”, extremely hip venue.

Urs Krem Krem Krem 05142009169 05/14/2009 05/14/2009 05/14/2009 05/14/2009

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96 Replies to “What Companies Should Know About Digital Natives”

  1. I was born in 1986, and I’ve just read the whole thing 😉
    I definitely identify with aspects of this post, but more importantly, I wasn’t born with the Internet (I was 12 when we first had it at home), unlike my much younger cousins who started emailing me aged 7-8. Post-1990 children in my eyes will be the true Digital Native and it will interesting to watch how it impacts society.

  2. One of the biggest problems I face as a consultant is convincing (typically) middle-aged managers that they have to create material for digital natives (love the term, BTW).

    For example, a college I’ve done some work for in Sweden are convinced that by excluding access to sites like YouTube and Facebook at school they are ensuring the quality of the education they offer.

    I’ve tried to get them to use YouTube to show teaching materials and give resources away but they’re stuck thinking in terms of security.

    Bottom line, if organizations and companies are too slow to cater for digital natives they risk being overlooked. 16-18 year olds breathe the Net. Some old-school managers need to get outside the box.

  3. I am totally agree with you, people from various countries have started blogging and internet usage at their full effort. But amount will be differ from country to country.

  4. My son is 6 and 1/2 years old and can use a Mac and a PC as well as an iPhone. He fiddles with his screensaver, selects his iPhoto gallery as screensaver, plays with the desktop settings, has his email address where he mostly receives emails from his little girlfriend and photos from our friend’s puppy. Lately he went into screensharing mode with my computer while I was on it, successfully trying his non-admin login. I thought it was enough to tell him that he needed my login to do it and that I wasn’t going to reveal my password (hello 6 year-old hacker!). This, by the way, raised alarm bells with regards to Mac screensharing default security settings.

    He’s not a unique case and he’s not a genius. Just a good representation of what digital natives can do at this age, with their little brain like sponges. Very impressive.

  5. 20,000 hours online by age 20? Really? That works out to about 2.7 hours per day, every day, from birth onward. My 2-year-old spends no time online, and my 5-year-old might average about 10 or 20 minutes a day right now – mostly watching YouTube videos that we select for her before she goes to bed. I’m sure their time online will grow, but that 20,000 figure sounds a little high to me. I have a hard time imagining it’s even close for anyone born before the current decade.

    None of that’s to say that the key characteristics of “digital natives” aren’t/won’t be true, but let’s not overstate things.

  6. I can attest to that 20,000 hours as a digital native (and, like Celia, I read the whole thing!). I think the point that my generation wants to share and create is really key. Events start, are punctuated, and live on through social networking and the digital world. A normal gathering is organized on Facebook, involves the phrase “make sure you tag that” while it’s happening, and has a vibrant archive. Not only is it lasting – it’s instantaneous. Maybe that’s why we process information on YouTube, Facebook, and more in that way?

  7. Great stuff. Digital Natives can’t help but be different from their analogue uncles. I once asked a physical anthropologist, “What part of the anatomy is currently evolving the fastest?” He said — his name was David White, I believe — it was the brain and the brain case. We have to continue to get smarter to live in today’s world, he explained. (Hence all the C-sections.) Digital Natives today are processing more and processing faster. Big heads, rather than beauty, will be selected for at some point in the future. Hee hee.

  8. Born 1967, I am solidly Gen X aka the “MTV generation” implying short-attention spans from all the video jumpcuts. Gen X has got nothing on the Digital Natives described by Dr. Gasser – scanning content, multi-profiles instead of a deliberately cultivated sense of themself, sharing everything naively believing they control who sees what via privacy settings, taking things at face value b/c they’d rather hop to their next multi-task than stop to analyze. [Yes, extreme over-generalization to make my point.]

    I lament the lack of critical thinking skills in people in general, but I really fear for this generation nutured on information overload via Moore’s Law in this immature info age. How are they to cope and govern and lead when they are raised on constant change? They don’t make purchasing decisions based on ‘what are my needs & what best meets those needs?” They buy the latest, coolest iPhone knowing they’ll toss it next year for whatever is newer,cooler, & loaded with feature they can brag about. Without the experience on smaller matters, they will have a tough time learning to weigh pros & cons of complex business & personal dilemmas where the decision isn’t made for you by the next big thing coming along. How will they choose the long-term care facilty for an ailing parent or commit to a billion dollar, multi-year contract w/ a global IT vendor for their corporation?

    They will learn & cope & even thrive, but only after a host of mistakes they should have made with lower stakes. We failed as a society to balance their education b/c we got too caught up in the ‘cool’ too.

  9. Celia has a point. There’s definitely a small generational segment who fully understands and can feel like a native in the digital world but wasn’t brought up in it, and so isn’t as dependent on it or obsessed with social networking. I was born in 1983, didn’t have the internet until I was 13 or 14. I’m a web designer, love what I do, but I have no desire to carry the internet everywhere with me on a smartphone and stay away from things like Twitter because I feel like they’re a complete waste of time 🙂

  10. On the same page with Celia. Born in 1985 and more excited for the group of kids born after 1990. Those are the true digital natives in my opinion.

    Generation X is a far more interesting case study for research though. Not enough study has been done with this bridge generation and they seem to have fallen between the cracks at the workplace (at least in general perception). Really interested to see your insights, because Gen X is going to be here for a while. The boomers will be gone (and it’s them that will be in the driver seat for a bit.

  11. I am born in 1975 (gen X!) and have used computers since I was 7. I’d say I have a majority of the digital native characteristics. However, the main difference between me and my 23 year old whiz kid colleagues is that they have their entire community on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr etc, while my friends still stick to slower communication ways such as e-mail, SMS or IM.

    I wonder though if the difference between the people born in the 80’s and 90’s will be that big. Won’t it in the end be about the interest in computers, socializing, the Internet?

  12. I agree with some of the other comments that the true digital natives are the post-1990 crowd. Born in 1985 myself, we didn’t have a computer at home till I was about 10 and no internet until age 13 and not having that technology accessible as a child lets me remember “The Land Before Internet.” I’m a software engineer/web developer so I can’t escape technology even if I wanted to, and I see the great benefits to utilizing these things in society.

    But the kids who have grown up with internet their entire lives scare me a little. My wife is a high school teacher so I get to hear how dependent they are on technology and how incompetent they are without it. Knowing your way around social media sites, and the web in general ,is great but are they just replacing actual social interaction with virtual social interaction?

  13. I expect the chasm between the net savvy and the net-not to widen. I used to hold out hope that more of my contemporaries (I was born in 1962) would embrace the digital age and all it has to offer. Instead, I see many dismissing it as a fad for teenagers while, apparently, waiting for analog to make a comeback once the digital novelty wears off. If this trend continues, then society will be split between Digital Natives and Digital Illiterates. Unable to function in an increasingly digital society, digital illiterates risk being marginalized. GS

  14. My wife teaches English and the hardest thing she’s found (and by far the most important thing) is how to teach digital natives hierarchies of reliability. That is: how to discriminate between a good source of information and a bad source.

    Google “Martin Luther King” is one of her best examples. Check out your third result (use the google cached version, please). It’s from a white power organization.

    Over and over and over she finds when teaching 15-17 year olds how to write a research paper that their first step is Google and after that they pick their sources without any kind of sense of value. If it’s in the top searches returned it must be gold level material is the thinking.

    The speed with which digital natives (as an overgeneralization) surf, interact, share, etc. online needs to be tempered with analytical tools, with knowledge of intellectual property rights and with foresight.

    That said, organizations and businesses are going to have to come to terms with these issues as well, because how your employees act online, whether or not they’re on company time, is going to reflect on you. A digital native might talk smack about your company openly on Facebook. A digital native might be using a work laptop for downloading torrents infected with virii and malware. A digital native raised in the culture of sharing online might not even think about lifting a passage from someone else’s blog or using an AP photo without attribution or licensing.

    Granted, now, all these things might likewise be done by non-natives, but with the immigration of this generation into the workplace these sorts of concerns will take on a heightened urgency.

    (And for the record, the wife and I are both Gen Xers hugely into digital technologies.)

  15. great post. very exciting times.

    I am 26 and feel I represent a turning point generation. Also that it is the responsibility of my generation and those older who have now adopted the new digital avenues to educate and hold onto principles and modes that were effective from before.

    I agree with much of what Nick posted above as well.

    Great discussion starter

  16. Great post and very intriguing. A couple reactions:

    — On young people blogging, I imagine most of the blogs are general and about personal interests, opinions, etc.—in other words, an extension of a Facebook profile. I wonder if any of them are subject-specific or at what stage digital natives start writing on a subject other than themselves.

    — Is breach of confidentiality hip? I suspect it’s more likely a way of “breaking the news” in an environment with few explicit reporting standards. I’d be interested in hearing digital natives’ stories of online confidentiality breaches that they regret. I’m sure there are many.

  17. This is quite depressing. You could have become a professional piano player in your spare time but instead you know how to use the internet.

  18. @B Macias on May 14th, 2009 at 5:57 am

    You’re a typical example for someone from Gen X. You just don’t get it (no offense).

    I’m from 1984 myself and I can only speak for myself, but what’s wrong with changing phones every year? We (I) just don’t care about those gadgets in itself, they serve a purpose and if something else serves you better, change! That’s the way you run a business, right?

    That being said, everyone makes mistakes and you learn from it. That’s the way it has been and that’s the way it will be, at least for some time to come 😉

  19. What an interesting article. I love what J said above, because it’s the one thing I’m most concerned with in this overload of immediate information – the ability to understand which sources are most credible. Great amounts of information doesn’t equal great information. It seems like people have forgotten how to cite sources anymore, and a lot of the younger generation does go straight for google – God forbid they hit the libraries musty old reference book section 🙂

    I’m firmly in Gen X, which is a great bridge between the world as it was and the one it’s evolving into. I’m online for large portions of my day. I blog and tweet and a good majority of my networking is with other writers in different parts of the world.

    I don’t think the evolving technology necessarily makes this generation smarter than its parents’ or grandparents’, they’re evolving to best utilize the environment they’re in… just like every generation before them. We’ll see where this all takes us, but it really is an exciting time to be a part of. When you think how advanced we’ve become in only the last thirty years – things that were science fiction in the 70’s may well become reality in our lifetime.

  20. BTW according to Wikipedia, “Mark Prensky claims to have coined the term digital native”

    The other take on digital native is the concept of digital immigrants: people like myself who were raised in a non-digital environment (I grew up in Africa) and have been introduced piece-meal to the technology.

    How far can we take the analogy? The US attributes much of its strength to the regular influx of immigrants. Can this apply to the digital realm?

  21. In my opinion, the interpretation of a digital native is; someone who doesn’t learn to be digital, their lives are ingrained in it. Society as a whole, their friends — life has them surrounded and they know no other way. Again, they didn’t learn to be digital.

    However, not everyone agrees with me, I wrote a blog post called; “Social Media Experts are Full of it”
    http://ramseymohsen.com/2009/02/social-media-experts-are-full-of-it/

    …on that blog post I called out @ChrisBrogran and said he wasn’t a digital native. He responded with:

    ===========

    I’m not a digital native? I started on the first generation Mac at age 14. I was on BBSs at 15. I had accounts on AOL, Prodigy, and CompuServ. (Wasn’t cool enough to be on the WELL). I was an early user of IRC, Usenet, and more.

    I’ve been blogging since 1998, when it was called journaling. I used WYSIWYG editing software created by Dan Bricklan (who created VisiCalc back in the day).

    100% of the media I ingest comes from the Internet or Netflix. I have no TV signal. I don’t listen to terrestrial radio (except for NPR).

    I’ve been online in some form or another for 24 years and counting.

    I’d suggest that’s pretty reasonable native street cred.

    Very very interesting to think about this in more than one dimension. And then another question: are natives the most skilled?

    ===========

  22. The 20,000 hours is just amazing. Can this culture of sharing displace our inherit genes towards greed?

  23. I know this is a tad off topic – but have any studies been done on how social media impacts their face-to-face interpersonal skills? Are they weaker then the previous generation as most communication is non-verbal and they spend so many hours collaborating online?

  24. What basis do you have to suggest that ‘digital natives’ born after 1980 – may not know how to find valuable, credible sources? Being credulous is not a generational temperament it is a personal one. Critical thinking is not the preserve of those born before 1980, in fact, though I was born in 1964, and very much a digital native, I find, many who are my peers or my elders are overwhelmed by the flood of the web, and lack the tools and strategies to surf it – effectively. There I go with a generational generalization, but one based on nearly 20 years of watching everyone.

    Trust, but verify.
    Tools not rules.
    Information wants to be free.

    And opinions are like…belly buttons…

  25. There is certainly a cultural change resulting from online communications, and if you’re an older person who sits on the edge, it’s quite apparent. I’m a Gen X’er, born in 75, did the grunge and apathy thing, but I also spend loads of time online, often while I’m out and about using my iPhone, and sometimes a netbook. The thing I most frequently notice? Very few people my age to talk to online, or network with! Whenever I look around for other Gen X friends on a new site or medium, they’re not there. It’s frustrating, trying to explain the benefits of twitter to someone who only uses the Internet for email, and the occasional Facebook message. I can see it being a real challenge for older people in marketing – perhaps they’re going to have to import young talent pronto to make the new media work for them..

  26. Even if it was just 10,000 hours, isn’t that the threshold of defining an expert as described by Malcolm Gladwell in “Outliers”?

    GenX better be on top of it as this new gen starts graduating from college!

  27. Sad but true… in a way (at least I can see that behaviour in many young people)… but according to that definition I should BE such a digital bloke. Well, I can say that I am made of flesh and bone, not ones zeroes, as this stupid term ‘digital native’ suggests. To be true, I see it as an insult. I’m not that naive to believe that Google shows the world how it is… and it’s up to our teachers, them non-‘born digitals’, to spread awareness about information ethics and a thing called informational self-determination (don’t know if that word even exists outside of Germany…).

  28. You’re right, a quick look at the scroll bar (to see how long the article was) and I was reaching for the “Summarize tool” of Mac OS X.

    That being said, I’ve read enough articles here to know it’s worth it + the comments.

    Best example of how I like to consume my content was best illustrated when I first discovered Morgan Webb’s WebbAlert Video Podcast.

    To have most (well a lot but not all) of the daily tech news, summarized by a lovely news presenter summarize in a 3-4 minute video all that’s been going on is how I like to hear the news, to the point, quickly and if need be with links to the news items or press releases, etc.

    Another example is from looking at those long Apple keynotes or simply watching Cnet’s 60 second summary 😉

    I’m typing this while browsing through about 2 dozen other tabs in firefox. So Basically, with all the overflow of information we have access to, we’ve needed to develop that “diagonal reading skill”.

  29. Well! Only few people and companies are aware about what companies should know about Digital Natives, as it is getting more seem as closer to advertising companies.

  30. Great post and as always enjoyed it.

    One interesting fact which I think worth noting is “….access to digital technologies since birth, age, and have the skills to use the digital technologies…”. I think many of us take certain things for granted that really does not apply to another part of the world. I am a GenXer in body and GenYer in mind :-), and totally agree with the comment that when you were born is a secondary criteria to where you were born in terms of being a “Digital Native” (I guess this debate is analogus to nature vs nurture’ debate in social sciences).

  31. I’m 21 too and I read until the end 🙂

    I think it really depend on the context, the personality of the user and the quality of the content. Social Media is one of my passion, i like not just having a set of info but also the reasoning behind it and it was interesting… so i had an incentive to read.

  32. Great article. This touched home in many ways for me. I’m a 23 year old digital native, who has definitely spent over 20,000 hours online at this point. Including work, I’ve likely spent over 3,000 hours online per day since I was 13 (12 hours a day, 7 days a week). That sounds like an insane amount of time, but I’ve also managed to graduate from college, play varsity baseball and currently work a full time job (though 8 hours a day of that count as online browsing).

    I am one of the 20% of males that write a blog, and am both creative and a true believer in information sharing. I can’t imagine a world where information could not be easily accessed. As you noted, however, it is extremely important for people of my generation to fact-check extensively, as the web can be prone to rampant factual innacuracies.

    I did manage to read this full article (and share over Google Reader – more interaction), but not fully through the comments. That said, I think Celia brings up a good point – those born after 1990 are the ones to watch most of all. These kids are just now going to college, and they had instant messaging their entire lives, social networks since they were teenagers and have had easy access to technology (cell phones, computers) their entire lives.

    I think it will be extremely difficult to create a bracket around Generation Y, as it is severely torn by the age of information technology. Though my interest and interaction with online media is extreme, there are a great deal of my peers my age (and slightly older) that are much less versed, and I would not necessarily call them Digital Natives. I feel like there is certainly some space between Generation X and Generation F(acebook).

  33. I’d personally give credit too to Mark Prensky. His article “Digital Natives” dates from 2001, when neither John Palfrey nor Urs Gasser had begun to think about their research project.

  34. Great post. I am also Gen X and I agree that our generation sits at a very pivital point in history. The generations on either side of us can learn a lot from each other, and we can provide a unique perspective to help bridge the gap.

  35. Pretty good article, though I disagree about the whole “if it’s online it must be true!” thing. If we’ve spent 20,000 online, I think we can start to learn how to tell if something is BS on the internet. Yes, we diginatives all love Wikipedia, but we know how to spot a cited source and how to verify information.

    Besides, there’s always searching Google Books if we can’t find reliable information on “normal” sites. 😉

  36. Interesting article.
    I read until the end as a reader between immigrant and native : 1978 😉

    In my opinion the most dansgerous element that reveal this analysis, is about the identification of qualified content source online.
    I hope that one day country’s educational system will embed “Internet usage” in their programs. A Better understanding of the media is a key to keep countrol on your mind.

  37. I was born in 1987, so i’m pretty native. I went through university without once taking out a book from a library and I am a straight-A student. Wikipedia, YouTube (to watch a video of an author explaining his books main points), Google, Torrents (for ebooks, audiobooks, documentaries/videos, textbooks) are my starting points for research in my professional and academic career.

    I even used Facebook to start a discussion group with my friends to get ideas for a report I am writing: Digital Natives in the Workplace. They confirmed my views about the subject and give me more confidence when I make generalizations about Digital Natives.

    Natives are just as capable as immigrants, if not more so, of identifying reliable sources from unreliable sources. There will ALWAYS be people who are “gullable” or just don’t care enough to check the facts (this is where schooling comes into play). But even unreliable sources are useful, because they can give you a different perspective from the mainstream and perhaps direct you towards the facts you want to display. This was the purpose of my post.

    I would never use this website or its comments as a source for facts, but if something intrigued me, I would do a search for more evidence that the particular piece of information is true – either from the original source, or a many reliable sources.

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  39. Have you considered approaching the discussion from an open course ware perspective? The impact of open course ware has increased university enrollment.

    Additionally, digital natives want to be “in control” of their experience. They want to have an active voice in the flow of information. Making information available in the format they are most comfortable would seem the ideal teaching aide.

  40. I was born in 78, learned programing on Apple II when I was 6, using Internet since 90s. My mother, who is in mid 60s now, can use all the stuff on internet, we chat on msn, skpye and email. My dad do online shopping all the time.

    the digital natives are just using the technology previous generation had created, nothing special. just like how people adapted to other “new” media, radio, TV, etc. Internet is just the “new” media of this generation. As a matter of fact, generation Y is late adopters, as internet has been in public use since early 90s and is a mass media now.

  41. Have you considered approaching the discussion from an open course ware perspective? The impact of open course ware has increased university enrollment.

    Additionally, digital natives want to be “in control” of their experience. They want to have an active voice in the flow of information. Making information available in the format they are most comfortable would seem the ideal teaching aide.

  42. Have you considered approaching the discussion from an open course ware perspective? The impact of open course ware has increased university enrollment.

    Additionally, digital natives want to be “in control” of their experience. They want to have an active voice in the flow of information. Making information available in the format they are most comfortable would seem the ideal teaching aide.

  43. I was born in 78, learned programing on Apple II when I was 6, using Internet since 90s. My mother, who is in mid 60s now, can use all the stuff on internet, we chat on msn, skpye and email. My dad do online shopping all the time.

    the digital natives are just using the technology previous generation had created, nothing special. just like how people adapted to other “new” media, radio, TV, etc. Internet is just the “new” media of this generation. As a matter of fact, generation Y is late adopters, as internet has been in public use since early 90s and is a mass media now.

  44. I am a Digital Native, and probably the youngest one yet on these comments. I'm a 1992'er. I'm one of the ones that hasn't gone to college yet. I've been online since we had our little dial-up connection when I was 8, and I can promise you that in those ten years, I've spent much more than 20,000 hours on the internet. And I'd like to address a few points.

    Yes, I read through to the end. And I read through all the comments. Does this disprove your point? Not in the slightest. I get many articles in my Google reader every day, but do I spend time reading all of them? No. I graze. The same way you graze the newspaper. I read the articles that interest me. Now, fine, this might not be true of all “Digital Natives,” but your comment is probably less so.

    In terms of the “reliable sources” argument: I do believe that's true–I judged a 9th grade debate the other day that cited many of their sources as opinion sites/wordpress/etc. It's just something that needs to be taught at a really early age. I think it will be learned more easily in time. But, as someone else suggested, you will always have the people who don't care. These are the people who think Rush Limbaugh is “news.” To be honest, all of that has a lot more to do with the changing face of journalism and the rise of opinions in the news and on the internet. And seeing as the majority of the Digital Natives aren't even old enough to have much sway in the media, I don't see exactly how it's our fault. The searching is just naivety that comes with being a kid. I'm sure you had it in similar form.

    What I think is ridiculous is the people who are “scared” for our generation and the changes that we bring. Yeah, we're different–just like the generations before us were different for their new TVs and even their microwaves. It's just change. We won't bring the government tumbling down.

  45. I was born in 1953. Much of the ‘vocabulary’ of digital natives is confusing to me and probably always will be. In that sense, I’m like an English Language Learner (ELL) – Did you infer my profession from that clue? I consider myself a DLL (Digital Language Learner) I think I just coined that term and if so, I expect my ‘copyright’ to be respected. (How very old-fashioned of me). My “accent” if you will, is likely to remain. I’m inefficient with new technology but not afraid of it. As you can see, I do participate in forums. But I don’t have a Facebook account and never will. I enjoy and protect my privacy. I share a circulatory system with my laptop. I don’t have a smartphone. I still wear a wristwatch. I visit Youtube daily. I email frequently but I don’t see myself ‘tweeting’ anytime soon. If somebody could show me how to blog I’m sure I would. In my down time, I play on my DS or read on my Kindle. So what am I? A digital settler or a digital immigrant?

  46. I was born in 1953. Much of the ‘vocabulary’ of digital natives is confusing to me and probably always will be. In that sense, I’m like an English Language Learner (ELL) – Did you infer my profession from that clue? I consider myself a DLL (Digital Language Learner) I think I just coined that term and if so, I expect my ‘copyright’ to be respected. (How very old-fashioned of me). My “accent” if you will, is likely to remain. I’m inefficient with new technology but not afraid of it. As you can see, I do participate in forums. But I don’t have a Facebook account and never will. I enjoy and protect my privacy. I share a circulatory system with my laptop. I don’t have a smartphone. I still wear a wristwatch. I visit Youtube daily. I email frequently but I don’t see myself ‘tweeting’ anytime soon. If somebody could show me how to blog I’m sure I would. In my down time, I play on my DS or read on my Kindle. So what am I? A digital settler or a digital immigrant?

  47. I am a digital native (1998) and I just want to prove a point. Being a digital native, I am not ignorant of the existence of google, wikipedia and all other fast giving information sites and as a lazy cat, I, being too tired of walking in the library and flipping books, I obviously use them. But I am a living testimony proving you that not all Dnatives are too lazy and dumb to just believe that everything in the internet/online articles are true. If

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