Digital Natives do not exist – or do they?

My favorite researcher and blogger, danah boyd, wrote this eye-opening talk for The Symposisum for the Future . I’ve cropped out the most significant sentences:

“Technology does not determine practice. How people embrace technology has less to do with the technology itself than with the social setting in which they are embedded. Those who are immersed in a techno-savvy, technophilic community are far more likely to embrace technology than those whose social world is shaped by other patterns of consumption and communication.

There are also no such things as “digital natives.” Just because many of today’s youth are growing up in a society dripping with technology does not mean that they inherently know how to use it.  They don’t.

Youth learn through active participation, but phrases like “digital natives” obscure the considerable learning that occurs to enable some youth to be technologically fluent while others fail to engage.” – danah boyds blog post

In the book I’m currently reading “Born Digital” the authors use the phrase ‘Digital Natives’ as a characteristic for anyone born in 1980 and after… which means I’m a digital native. I must admit I don’t feel like one. I still haven’t found out how to use twitter proberly  – here after 2,5 years. I have a hard time blogging on regular basis – because what is the real purpose of my writing? I sign up for lots of new features and services, and most of them I never use again because I cannot find the meaning with them.

Even though I feel pretty tech-savy (in the sense of mechanically managing digital devices and services) this doesn’t mean I was born with the ability to UNDERSTAND the social actions on the Internet. I’m still struggling big time with understanding and I would love someone to tell me the meaning of it all.

Who will be my teacher? I need to learn in order to understand what is going on.

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