You see them everywhere.
If you’re in public whilst reading this, it’s likely there is a young person in close proximity doing something whizzy in digi-land on their phone/iPad/other techy device. It could be the uni student sitting next to you on the train, with supersonic thumbs texting at an inconceivable speed; or the intern, who can find an answer for you online before you’ve even finished asking the question. Maybe that person is you.
Meet the Millennials (better known as Gen Y) – aka – digital natives.
Digital natives speak the language of technology. They are drivers of the changing nature of the way we communicate with each other in the digital landscape. Their friendships, social interactions, and activities are facilitated by digital technologies. They have a ‘social’ mentality and are regarded as ‘prosumers’ who produce as much as they consume information / content. They proactively seek and demand information from the people around them and from the companies they engage with to make more informed decisions about what they want.
I am a digital native and I’ve been preoccupied with the Internet since I was old enough to use the computer. I can’t imagine life without either (and often freak out when my phone dies or I don’t have net connection). In the past year, “social media” has been bandied about as a buzzword and to me; it barely registers as a ‘new’ thing so much as something I’m already familiar with and have been using for years.
So what do we digital natives look like? Here are some tips for spotting us:
- We are technology-obsessed. Technology is second nature to us and the digital world is integrated in our lives. We use it to seek opportunities and information. In fact, technology is almost an extension of our brains (an external memory card if you will) and our online / offline identities are fluid
- We’re connected. Always. We have plenty of friends in the virtual world as much as in real life and our friendship networks grow everyday
- Information is at the tips of our fingers and it is ours to control and reshape – from creating, sharing and collaborating on content to editing our Facebook profiles – we mostly rely on technology and the online world to access all the knowledge we need
- We learn, study, work and interact with each other in ways that differ from the generations before us
Watch out for us!