The “Digital Natives” Are Alright

I can’t hardly remember the first time I ever was on a computer. I was probably around 6 or 7 when I finally ventured to the basement to get on it without my parents permission. I didn’t have much knowledge about computers or technology in general at that time; I just knew how to call someone on the house phone and change the channel on the TV. But once I spent a full day just playing games on the computer, I was hooked. Now years and years later, I’m what Jeff Gomez describes as a “digital native.” An average day in my life consists of constant Facebook and Twitter checking, e-mails, text messages, phone calls and everything Internet. I honestly don’t know how I could function without all the digital devices…but then again, some people can function without it. Because they probably don’t have it at all.

In Siva Vaidhyanathan’s article called “Generational Myth”, he discusses how the latest generation (aka starting from the 90s babies to today) are all on the digital frontier and could care less of the traditional ways of doing average stuff. It seems like everyone who is 30 or older are all agreeing that we are the technology generation and that we live our lives digitally and not realistically. As a 20 year old junior in college, I can agree to some point and flat out disagree on everything else. Sure, we don’t have a problem with finding stuff out online; it’s less time-consuming for us to go out of our way to do something that can be easily done on our computers while we’re talking to our friends. On the other hand, like I stated before, some people in my generation aren’t as lucky. I come from a middle-class family so it did take me a while to get my first cell phone, my personal computer and even an iPod. Some people still don’t even have the latest technology that others have in our day and age of digital life. It’s wrong to say that our entire generation is made up as “digital native” when some don’t have the ability to prove it themselves.

Even back when I was younger, I was still completing tasks the traditional way: using the encyclopedia to look up subjects for reports and projects, reading print books and magazines (which I still do now), having to send letters via snail mail. People in my generation probably still do that now which makes researchers and journalists’ beliefs on the new generation almost completely false. Siva also stated in the article that “by focusing on wealthy, white, educated people, as journalists and pop-trend analysts tend to do, we miss out on the whole truth.” Not all of us are super tech-savvy and I’m pretty sure I don’t even know to do the cool computer code stuff that they do in movies. This perception reminds me of my family and how they always come to me when they have questions about their computers and miscellaneous software on it. I have a good amount of digital and technical knowledge but not enough to solve even the weirdest of computer problems. It’s better off that people know that my generation just likes to stay in the fast lane of getting things done, but we don’t mind taking it slow and going old-school once in a while.


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