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Milé Murtanovski said in September 22nd, 2009 at 11:05 pm


I think the analogy of “natives” and “immigrants” regarding the tech you’re referring to (or any tech, for that matter) isn’t entirely appropriate. I’m now speaking from our generation’s point of view rather than our parents’, but even that may still may hold.

Your use of the term “natives” implies that they’ve had the tech all along throughout their lives (which is true), but calling our generation “immigrants” suggests that we’re coming into a world that’s already been established, where, in fact, it was our generation (and the one before) who invented all the tech you’re talking about. So we learned it as it came out (some adapted better and faster than others).

It’s a teenytiny semantic difference, but “immigrant” and “native” suggests Native Americans and Europeans (exemplified by the Dances with Wolves reference), whereas I think our connection to tech vs the next generation’s is more like the whitewashed version of history: we were pioneers forging the land and our kids grew up having everything we worked for and developed.

I’m just making the distinction (a tiny one, as your point is still understood), because the differences in attitudes toward privacy, etc. have more to do with generational differences than with the tech itself.

How could we have guessed we’d be communicating online in this fashion when recording those “radio shows” twenty years ago? Your own daughter’s generation will be experiencing something we can only speculate about at this point.

Now I’m just rambling.

Anyway, this isn’t an admonition (and I certainly don’t mean to imply that the terms are offensive in any way), just yet another semantic distinction: “pioneers and (?)” vs “immigrants and natives”

Still, point taken, and another interesting post.


Jay said in September 23rd, 2009 at 9:16 am

Hey Milé!

Thanks, your point is well taken. I was using the (somewhat) common terminology of natives and immigrants to help draw in the Dances With Wolves example. Those terms are often used within discussions on this topic, which is to say I didn’t invent them, but I totally agree they are imprecise in exactly the way you outline.

However, I do think that technology, or not even technology really, but the conditions of the world you grow up in, impact your expectations of everything including privacy. My point is, when people are judgmental about what younger folks post on Facebook because “they should realize it’s there forever and everyone can search it” when the very people making the criticism did the same or worse at the same age, just minus Facebook. Just because it CAN be searched, does that mean employers SHOULD? Don’t we actually EXPECT people in high school and college to have a certain degree of bad judgment, isn’t that part of how we learn? I don’t think most of us could have lived up to the standards being imposed on younger people in many cases, nor should we be expected to. That’s really my main point.