In an increasingly digital world, the discussion of technology’s effect on us, especially on younger generations, is at the forefront of the minds of many. There is also a divide that has been created between those who have been engrossed in technology since essentially the time of their birth, otherwise known as digital natives, and those who were introduced to it later in their life and don’t necessarily feel any attachment to it, also known as digital immigrants.
Digital natives are people born after 1985 and have been introduced to technology at a young age. Technology’s influence in their lives has been substantial, thus there are trends we see in digital natives that are unique to them such as being comfortable around technology and using it daily in many aspects of their lives. digital natives can be correlated to what we know as Gen Z and Millennials. Some of the stigma around these groups, such as being lazy or spending too much time online, can also be said about digital natives because these groups were all born around the same time. Call them what you want, but these groups see the world through a technological scope that no other generation does. Often that is more positive than not. Our world is increasingly digital, and for digital natives it’s an advantage they don’t have to think about or learn because it is a part of their everyday life.
Digital immigrants, on the other hand, are people who were introduced to technology in their adulthood rather than their childhood. Essentially, they learned, worked, and lived the earlier parts of their lives before technology became so widely spread and utilized like it is today. Although many of these people have adapted easily to this change, and some are even technological pros like Larry Page who is a co-founder of Google, others haven’t. A lot of older generational people like those born in the Silent Generation, or Baby Boomers, have had a harder adjustment to this wave of technology, especially as it has expanded to everyday life like paying bills and ordering groceries via an app.
Which Group Are You?
Would you classify yourself as a digital native or digital immigrant, and do you have the potential to use technology to your advantage? Obviously not everyone is born to be a founder of the largest and most powerful internet companies, but as new generations are born, the power of technology is going to grow and evolve and it’s important that we attempt to keep up with it. Just because you may have been born before a certain date doesn’t mean you are doomed and will never understand technology. In fact, everyone has the same potential. If they just attempt it, maybe it’s worth pushing away labels and focusing on how technology can help them.
About Megan Valco
Megan Valco is an Account Assistant at Haute In Texas. Currently attending UTSA, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Digital Communications. Her hobbies include enjoying day trips to Fredericksburg and the beach, painting and finding new thrift stores to shop. After graduating, her aspirations have no limit as she plans to continue working in the PR and Marketing world, as well as, traveling and living across the U.S. and abroad.