January 13, 2013 5:56 PM Subscribe
I'm having a bit of a friendly argument with a friend about "digital natives" and nature vs nurture, and I was hoping you'd be able helps us elucidate who's right or if we are both wrong. Related bibliography would be appreciated too.
posted by Memo to Science & Nature (23 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Side A says that "digital natives" are born with an intrinsic ability to use technology due to their parents use of it during their life. For example, a 3-year old is able to use a tablet without much problem because he was born with the ability to use it. A kid born into this family would be able to find things in Google faster than a kid born in a previous generation. Relatedly, a child born into a multigenerational family farm would be born with an intrinsic ability to work on a farm.
Side B says that "digital natives" are the result of privilege and the luck of being exposed to technology early in life. The reason why a 3-year old is able to use a tablet is because it's intuitive to use and it does things when touched, like every other children toy. A kid born into this family wouldn't intuitively know how to search in google any better than any other kid unless he learned by practice or was taught how to do it.