Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Digital Terms

As part of my dissertation research, I’ve been spending several days reading stuff about different generations and their usage of computers and the internet. I’ve found books such as with good analysis of the computer usage of Millenials—such as Palfrey and Gasser’s Born Digital- and I’ve carefully analyzed the 2005 Pew Report on “the Internet and American Life”—but I’m still searching for more detailed distinctions in computer usage than just the terms ‘digital natives’ and ‘digital immigrants.’ What terms, for example, exist to distinguish a digital immigrant whose only use of online connectivity is to access email from a digital immigrant who participates in online meetings, uses Skype for phone calls, and plays one or more MMORPG? I can’t find any. And who has studied the differences in the way that older members of the Builder generation differ in their response to the computer from younger Builders, and older Boomers from younger Boomers? There’s got to be research out there somewhere on this stuff, but I just can’t seem to locate it.

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