July 24, 2024

Who are the Digital Immigrants Now? Huh?

The New York Times article, Who’s Driving Twitter’s Popularity? Not Teens, punches another whole in the ageist nonsense known as the digital immigrant/digital native BS. That bogus theory fetishizes youth culture and allows middle-age adults, primarily educators, to say, “Don’t trust anyone over thirty,” in an act of self-loathing and anti-intellectualism.

“The traditional early-adopter model would say that teenagers or college students are really important to adoption,” said Andrew Lipsman, director of industry analysis at comScore. Teenagers, after all, drove the early growth of the social networks Facebook, MySpace and Friendster.

Twitter, however, has proved that “a site can take off in a different demographic than you expect and become very popular,” he said. “Twitter is defying the traditional model.”

In fact, though teenagers fueled the early growth of social networks, today they account for 14 percent of MySpace’s users and only 9 percent of Facebook’s. As the Web grows up, so do its users…”

I wrote about this issue long ago in Tech Insurgents: Do your teachers need a computing IEP? and Digital Native Theory Further Disproved.

However, billionaire tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban had the definitive word on the alleged digital generation gap.