The Social Impacts of the Virtual World Among Generations in the Digital Age

In the growing age of informational technology, the world as we see it today has been widely known to be divided into two different generations in the cyber world. On one hand, there is a population of youth that are considered tech savvy and are referred to as “Digital Natives”. These groups of tech users are reflected as being born or having grown up during the initial and current growth of the rising age of technology. The Digital Natives are found to be the younger generation today who are often seen next to a computer, video game, or television. On the other hand, the other half of the generation is called “Digital Immigrants”. Members of this group are often described as anyone who grew up and spend their youth prior to the dated age in the growth of informational technology. While many people today see or believe that the Digital Natives are more likely connected to technology than their Digital Immigrant counterpart, some also believe that this is not always the case, but the mere fact that in reality, not all Digital Natives would consider technology as their main resource for studying or research.

Digital immigrants today are gradually learning the modern age of technology that they did not grow up with. While they are still gaining a proper aspect in attaining skills and knowledge on how to be a tech savvy person, they often run into situations where they seem to rely on a digital native. There are some digital immigrants who believe that it is the digital natives who carry out one-hundred percent knowledge and skill on how modern technology works. They believe that the digital natives have all the answers in becoming user-friendly with their technology. However, this is not always the case with every member among digital natives who grew up with modern technology. There are actually many members of the digital natives group who prefer to learn and research the old-fashion way: reference books. As technology continues to grow and bring about new innovations in the world, the digital natives cannot always keep up in being user-friendly with these new innovations mainly because of the cost of these new products. Every member still has to learn and be able to gain an understanding with each and every new product that is offered.

A young person today should not be assumed in thought that they find technology as a hobby because in some cases, they may find it annoying or not pleasurable and would rather prefer to enjoy a different hobby such as experiencing the great outdoors or sports. If a young individual considered being part of the digital natives group was found constantly being outside playing football and not inside on a computer or video game, there is hardly a chance that the individual would be a tech savvy type of person. Even though the youth of this generation today may be found very close to a gadget and are indeed digital natives, there is hardly a chance it can be true with anyone else. If we were to look at a digital native carrying a cell phone for example, it is assumed by any digital immigrant that the digital native holding the cell phone may be obsessed with certain features like texting or instant messaging. However we should ask ourselves if the young digital native really does enjoy the use and features of a cell phone. We can never be sure whether he/she is tech-savvy or perhaps only carries a cell phone for its main purpose: emergency calls.

It is through these different characteristics and features that describe a person in reality and not virtually or in fantasy. Everyone today can be found relying on the helpful use of modern technology to go about in communicating and reaching out towards others but it also can be described very differently. From different views, we cannot always assume that anyone that is a digital native would be tech-savvy or vice versa, and presume that digital immigrants do not know as much about modern technology than do digital natives. Many digital immigrants include the Baby Boomers who would often seek more help from their tech savvy younger generations but that does not mean that all members of the digital immigrants are clueless about the virtual world because even Bill Gates is considered to be a member of the these digital immigrants before the uprising age and growth of informational technology. Like reality, everything from nature to technology is always taught and learned from step one and it is from that point whether any individual would consider becoming savvy with technology.

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