The rapidly changing societies with constantly improving technology and occurrence of social digital technologies dramatically changed the way people communicate and interact with each other making them either “digital natives”, “digital residents”, “digital immigrants” or “digital visitors” based on their generation or familiarization with technology. More and more people today perceive the world as the complicated and mature network of computerized and online applications that help to communicate, search for, exchange and share information, make business with international partners, play games on distance, and many other purposes.
Though, the question is whether digital natives and digital residents are the same in their perception of the world, behavior and life habits in the future? Behavior of Digital Residents Since personally I was born before 1994, I am related to the category of digital residents, who were born before the occurrence of social digital technologies. Such people like me learnt the computer and Internet-related skills either in schools or universities and have an opportunity to compare life and perception of the world before and after the digital world.
Despite I am not a digital native, my behavior as a digital resident is already influenced by numerous technologies I am using daily like cell phone, computer, DVD player, iPod, etc. With occurrence of cell phones, for example, people became more flexible and mobile in their behavior, actions, plans and ability to communicate with their family members, friends and colleagues.
Moreover, many people combine conversations by cell phone with other activities like cleaning the house, working on the computer, shopping or driving a car (Palfrey and Gasser, 2008). Recently more and more people, including me, prefer to make their personal or business calls while driving to the office, shop or gym. It might be a good way to use time efficiently, though at the same time might cause problems and distract a person from driving and being careful on the road.
In one of his first video chapters Robert Schrag (2010) addressed exactly this issue when young people got used to talk by phone and type text messages while driving. Though, the main difference in such behavior between digital natives and digital residents is that the last ones are more careful, reasonable and less dependent on the technologies than digital natives are (Palfrey and Gasser, 2008). It might sound crazy, but computers, cell phones and other technology-related products became a mandatory and integral daily part of their lives.
While as a digital resident I am less dependent, or better to say, obsessed with technology, the changing world of education and business requires being constantly aware and familiar with the latest technologies, either to learn the updated and useful information for my personal and professional development or to keep pace with younger people whose knowledge of languages, computers and technology-related applications make them more competitive at the labor market.
Conclusion As for the future behavior as a digital resident, it is rather hard to predict since more and more innovations enter our lives. For example, nowadays a debate exists concerning two main issues: human cloning and brain chips. Personally, I do not support either of these ideas since with their occurrence and legacy people will be controlled by those who created such innovations while the human being is independent self-thinker who is responsible for his/her own actions, has personal wishes and dreams and is unpredictable in his/her behavior.
While digital world gives me more and more opportunity to learn the world and communicate with other people, at the same time it controls me more and more shaping my behavior in the way innovators and digital world creators want. I personally think that technology should be wisely and within certain limits without suppressing and eliminating the natural things and personal communication between people.
Courtney from Study Moose
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