Digital natives is a fascinating topic as it presents a shift in culture due to technology. In the past society has changed due to technological advances, but in my opinion not so greatly as with todays technology. But what is a digital native and how does it present a culture shift? According to Wikipedia, a digital native is “a person who has grown up with digital technology such as computers, the Internet, mobile phones and MP3.” Taken from DigitalNatives.org they are “are young people whose use of technology is completely ingrained in their lives -they have grown up always-on and constantly-connected. Unlike those even a little bit older, these Digital Natives didn’t have to learn to “be digital,” they learned in digital the first time around.” It is weird to realize that children born today will always know what it is to send an email, text their friend from across the room, or play an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game).
Growing up with this technology at our fingertips makes digital natives perceive life differently from those who remember writing letters, visiting a record store and making a mixed tape for your friend. Being able to shoot off a tweet, download a song, or “poke” your friend provides a sense of immediate gratification that is not so ingrained in older people. But what does this immediate gratification do to culture? I don’t think the jury is in on that yet. What we can determine is that with a simple click, it is much easier to share all your personal information, which can then be used by others.
David Wicks in his Educational Technology Blog, talks about our “digital finger print or tattoo,” and how so many of us are unaware of how far it reaches. Our “Digital Dossier” is often unrealized due to the popularity of sharing content online. We often think that since we are not searching on our own information few people are looking at it. This concept of widely revealed personal information makes us forget it could be used for other purposes than sharing your vacation photos with friends. Being a digital native means that most your peers are too, but don’t turn a blind eye to what information sharing can mean. The blog Zero Percent Idle, describes indepth who these digital natives are and what they want.
Below is a paraody video about Facebook and being addicted: