Last week I gave a talk at the Humboldt County Library about future technology. It’s fun to discuss where things are headed. I tried to stay within the realm of the probable, which means I didn’t project out very far. The further ahead one looks, the more difficult it is to be accurate. That is, unless your someone like Raymond Kurzweil, who seems to have great track record for making specific predictions 10-20 years out.
Anyway, while I was waiting around in my office to go to the library for the talk I did what I always do when I have a few spare minutes at the computer. I started scanning all my RSS feeds and came across a site that is about the future and technology in terms of generations. I hadn’t spent much time thinking about this while working on the presentation. But the information on the site struck a chord, and I ended my talk by reading this quote from the site:
“Digital Natives” are those people for whom the internet and related technologies are givens, whereas “Digital Immigrants” migrated to these technologies later in life (Prensky, 2001). Digital Immigrants know how life existed in the pre-networked society, whereas Digital Natives take networked communication as the foundation of their lives.
My daughter, whom I love dearly, is one of these ‘digital natives’ . I wonder if a schism between digital natives and digital immigrants will radically affect our relationship, no matter how much I work at staying on top of technology. After all, that’s the point. I have to work at it. They swim in it. Breathe it. And don’t think much about it.
Perhaps, on this Father’s Day, my daughter and I should do something purely in the analog world together. Like take a hike along the coast. I better IM her about this.