The Controversy Around the Digital Divide

Technology Speaker, Social Media Expert, Digital Natives, Digital ImmigrantsI grew up with 3 TV channels (not including the mysterious UHF channels which never had anything of value to a kid), I was the remote control.  I played records not MP3 files, on my Fisher Price record player.  The only phone we had was one with a very long cord that could be pulled into our bedrooms for privacy.  I am a digital immigrant.

I hear many people complain about the labels, “Digital Natives” and “Digital Immigrants.”  I’m assuming what they really don’t agree with is some of the stereotypes that tend to go along with those labels.  Some will say ALL digital natives LOVE technology and ALL digital immigrants RESIST it.  Obviously that is not true, but it doesn’t change the fact that there are those born into a landscape of digital technology and those of us who have had to make that mental shift and MOVE.

I am a native to the United States, but that doesn’t mean that I know everything about our great country.  There are those who have immigrated over from other countries and I am amazed at those who know more about our history and landmarks than I.

Regardless of which side of the digital divide you were born on, it doesn’t change the fact that we must find ways to continue learning to use the tools of today.  My old record player won’t allow me to do all that my iPad will, I watch more videos on YouTube than shows on my television (unless it is in 3D -then our 3D TV delivers the goods!) and my Google Nexus One phone can do just about everything from helping me review restaurants online, making dinner reservations without having to call and be placed on hold. My phone can hail a taxi  or talk me through directions to get there all without having to drag my phone into a room for privacy…wait…PRIVACY…what’s PRIVACY?  Perhaps that’s yet another thing digital immigrants are struggling with understanding!