Are Today’s Youth Digital Natives? example

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Are Today’s Youth Digital Natives?
With the rapid development of technology, people of twenty first century can no longer imagine their lives without mobile phones, computers, and the Internet. While the adults had to adapt and get used to the changes, the youth, as the representatives of new generation, were born when the technology was already blooming. Some people believe that teenagers are digital natives, meaning that they automatically understand all technological issues. However, there are other people who argue that being born in the modern era does not guarantee an in-depth knowledge of technological side of life. Even though the majority of teenagers actively use the gifts of technology, they are more naïve in certain aspects of it than the adults. The stereotypes that exist in regard to the relationship between the youth and digital technology lead to various misunderstandings, complicating the teenagers’ lives and placing them in a situation where they will inevitably fail to meet the expectations of others.

The digital revolution has irrevocably changed everyone’s lives, transforming the way the youth perceive the reality. In our days, it is surprising to see a young person without smartphone or other fancy gadgets.
It is even more surprising if a teenager does not have an account on one of social media platforms. Adolescents communicate, find out the latest news, and even study with the help of technology, which made some people label them as digital natives. They know how to watch movies through iPhones while being stuck in a long queue, how to buy books, music, and other things without leaving their room, and how to keep in touch with everyone without actually talking to them. The adults have gotten so used to seeing teenagers with gadgets in hands that they are often surprised when it becomes clear that being able to log in does not mean the youth know how to “interpret, evaluate, and participate in various systems and streams of information” (Soyka). On the contrary, the adults sometimes know much more about the technical side of digital life than the supposed digital natives, because they are forced to learn about the intricacies of technology during the working process, while the teenagers mainly dominate the world of social media.

The stereotypes that surround the youth and label them as digital natives often lead to misunderstandings. According to a researcher Danah Boyd, some teenagers do not even “know the difference between a web browser and the Internet” (177). The reality, no matter how surprising it might be, shows that in many aspects, teenagers are clueless in regard to the technical side of the digital life. Being able to create an account or use
Google is not enough in order to be considered a digital native, since there …

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