In Generational Myth: Not All Young People Are Tech-Savvy, author Siva Vaidhyanathan begins to reference a book titled Print Is Dead: Books in Our Digital Age by Macmillan. He describes how the book stated how several, if not all in this current generation could not live without the technology and how they resent paper books or anything in print. Online is the number one choice for this generation.
The needs of an entire generation of ‘Digital Natives’–kids who have grown up with the Internet, and are accustomed to the entire world being only a mouse click away–are going unanswered by traditional print media like books, magazines, and newspapers. For this generation–which Googles rather than going to the library–print seems expensive, a bore, and a waste of time.
Being a part of this so called “digital” generation, I would have to agree with most points. If given the opportunity, it appears most people would chose technology over what seems like a basic printed novel nowadays. Having answers to nearly everything just one click away definitely seems like an advantage by making our lives easier, but what are we really learning? To cheat our way through life. To take the easy way out. To be lazy and not give our entire effort. These are habits that we need to break. They may seem helpful now, but will consequently complicate our lives further down the road, unless some other crazy form of technology is created (which really wouldn’t surprise any of us). The only part I would disagree with is that I actually still prefer to read a printed book, rather than on an iPad or Kindle.
When Vaidhyanathan described how that statement made him feel bewildered and overwhelmed, I could understand that feeling as well. Even though I would choose online classes over face-to-face lecture halls, it would be for convenience. He mentions that every class he teaches, there are some that are extremely skilled with computers and then there are some who can’t deal with them at all. He continues to describe how “many use Facebook and MySpace because they are easy and fun, not because they are powerful.” I would have to agree with that statement as well. I don’t see Facebook and MySpace truly being powerful, just popular, although sometimes popularity can mean power.
While many of us in today’s society have adjusted to the new digital age and nearly focus all of our attention on technology, there are still a handful that don’t conform, whether it be they can’t afford it, don’t understand it, or just don’t want to. Truth is, there will always be a minority in the world with any topic, and that is their choice…nothing wrong with that.