Digital Natives and our inevitable assimilation
Regarding the Prensky article, “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants,” I’m going to explore some things I didn’t get to on other classmates’ blogs.
That we have two types of digital denizens is of crucial importance to our digital culture. I think that we have an equilibrium that is going to steadily shift over the coming decades as the last of the immigrants dissipate through … let’s just call it attrition. With each year, the number of natives will rapidly increase while the number of immigrants will steadily decrease. (Aside: in what other scenario could the immigrants ever get out-numbered?)
I think this will have a steadily freeing effect on our digital communications. This isn’t to say that the immigrants have a chilling effect by intent, but rather by necessity does the digital landscape have to not take some things for granted. As our culture becomes vastly dominated by the native (those who’ve never not had a digital life), the inherent mistrust of those things digital will abate. That you have a Facebook account (or whatever our future equivalents will be) or maintain a significant online presence would be considered a default assumption. Accommodation for the disinclined at first will wane, and eventually will be rare.
In short order, we’ll be as accustomed to our lives with a completely integrated digital self, it will be practically like existing in multiple dimensions at once and we won’t even notice.
And this will be one of several gateways to full cybernetic augmentation. And this will start off another dichotomy: The Integrated Natives & Integrated Immigrants. But I digress…