Digital Native or Digital Immigrant – Which are You?

I heard a presentation at a tech vendor conference recently and the presenter used the terms Digital Native and Digital Immigrant. He used the terms in a discussion about how to prepare for the upcoming workforce.

A Digital Immigrant describes those of us to whom technology is not easy or native or intuitive, we have to work at it. I know I have been in the IT technology industry for 30+ years and am still an immigrant, Digital is still a second language to me. (Note: The computer in the picture is one of the first ones I worked with)

A Digitial native on the other hand has all things Digital as their first language, everything digital seems natural and easy for them.

Here are some questions to help you discover your status:

You are a Digital native if you:

– Never manually changed the channel on a TV
– You have a wireless network at home
– You have owned multiple cellphones, just in the last 2 years
– You can easily do a program search on a TIVO or DVR
– You can IM on a phone at over 30 words a minute
– You own and operate a blog, podcast and a social network page (myspace, etc.)
– You have a VOIP phone and conference call regularly on SKYPE
– You know what ‘Ruby on Rails’ is
– You know what a MMOG is and participate regularly
– You have e-friends around the world

Ok, that is enough. Anyway do you think these Digital natives are going to want to work in a paper driven, process intensive, slow to move and change business? I don’t think so.

They are smart, talented and speak fluent Digital, how will YOU put them to work in your business?

1 Comment Digital Native or Digital Immigrant – Which are You?

  1. Elwyn Jenkins

    Looks like I am a digital native. Good distinction to make when hiring people. For a nimble organization today we need to hire digital natives.


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