Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Digital Native-Digital Immigrant

Media literacy is at the forefront of my life’s journey today. Every bit of media that I read or watch appeals to me in some form or fashion. Because of this, I continue to search for my way to be an effective media psychologist in society today. The fact that I am as much of a consumer as everyone else motivates the goal to understand all that I can about media and its romantic and persuasive ways.

I am no different than any other human who strives to develop the best quality of life they can. Communication is a key an element to the idea of “quality of life”. Our individual narratives are only worthy if they can be communicated. As Ohler and Isbouts (2011) states communication is “a basic human desire that dates back to our earliest ancestors” (p. 30). Communication is a major common thread of developing or existing with in a community.

The digital world has given us greater opportunity to communicate whether it’s through the use of smart phones, computers or the Internet. Humans need to communicate. As the communication landscape changes so should the approach to media. That communication line is vital to the sustainability of a community. Here is where the concept of digital native and digital immigrant comes into play.

In our society today exist a gap or disconnect between generations. One generation is born into the digital community that exists and has a ready-made mindset for accepting and using the digital technology in our culture. These individuals consciously or subconsciously grasp the digital world and create their own expression of narratives that create a new kind of independence. This is the space of the digital native. Digital natives, use, understand and progress the digital landscape and the younger generation seem to be more apt for the infusion and continue to add to the growing culture.

The other generation is a more traditional minded generation relying on their past experience more than their future. They seem frightened or skeptical about the use of new media. Individuals become numbed by the pervasiveness of technology in our lives and the overwhelming amount of media that individuals consume. I believe it is the clutter factor that helps to create a numbed community. This is the barrier that exists within the world of digital natives and digital immigrants. There must be a considerably amount of time spent on creating ways to bridge the gap between natives and immigrants in order for media literacy to grow. The objective is to share the importance of not allowing the technology to control you but you control it. We must not get rid of the clutter, we can’t, and we must strive to understand how media works and why media works in our culture in order to create a healthier media society today.


Isbouts, J.P. & Ohler, J. (2011), Storytelling and Media: Narrative Models From Aristotle to Augmented Reality, Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, Ca.

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