Since I’m a technology guy I thought I would bring these terms to your attention. I really liked this picture as it represents one of our Native American friends, but of course my post is not about his culture but rather about your digital type.
I recently was introduced to these terms by Tiffani Bova, VP of Research for Gartner Inc. My children are “digital natives” – from day one, they have had electronics in their hands; Everything from BlackBerry (founded by RIM in 1999), iPhones, iPods (first came out in 2001), Laptops, Wii, Guitar Hero (introduced in 2005) and Playstation. If you were born before 2000, you are probably more of a “digital immigrant”. We came into the world playing with blocks, not Webkinz and Club Penguin.
If you don’t have young children you have missed many of the sites that have been established over the last 5 years. Everything is set up like a child’s version of Second Life. Second Life was established in 2003 as an alternative world where adults can create avatars and live out an alternate (online) existence. Many of the children sites created today are designed around the same principal – create your online character (a penguin, or a stuffed animal) and cruise around the online world – make sure you feed the Puffles, and feed your avatar friends, or they will die. My daughter uses this as an excuse to justify why she needs to get on my laptop every other day.
I love technology and consider myself somewhat of an early adopter for many of the new concepts entering our lives - I’ll reserve my opinion for a few years to see if it was a good direction to take our digital natives.