Let’s talk digital natives. They are everywhere in today’s world, and I myself, happen to be one of them. Digital natives are those that were born into the technological era, indigenous to the digital world from day one, and share an extreme comfort level with all things technology. It is inherent in our nature to actively be a part of the dynamic, digital culture that is continuously evolving. While everyone possesses individual characteristics, all digital natives share a few common traits.
Digital natives are immersed in technology on a daily basis. There is always a fancier, shinier product that comes to market, making everything else seem nearly obsolete. We are a part of the innovators and early adopters, constantly upgrading our technology for that next best product or service. However, the late majority and laggards tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to embracing new technological trends. Digital natives are notorious for being those advocates for getting others adopting innovation. Not only are we innovative in our technology preferences, we seek out roles at innovative companies as well. We thrive off of dynamic work environments that get our creative juices flowing.
Older generations are mind-boggled by the number of activities digital natives can juggle all at once. We are natural-born multi-taskers. Texting, while sending an email, with a TV show on in the background and browsing Facebook newsfeeds is just another day in the life of a digital native. We possess many different means of communication. In a typical workday, I use email to interact with clients, text messaging to chat with friends, Skype to talk to coworkers and phone conversations to keep in touch with family. Today, it isn’t uncommon to even carry two different cell phones, work and personal. While this level of around-the-clock communication may seem out of control and a little absurd to the non-digital native, it is in our nature, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Digital natives were born to adapt to change, as that is an inevitable part of the digital world. We grew up around computers, phones, laptops, etc., allowing us to easily adapt to most technology. Yes, we may have a preference when it comes to our own personal devices, Macbook vs. PC, iPhone vs. Android, iPad vs. Galaxy Note, but we are likely able to navigate anything you put in front of us. And if we can’t, we’ll figure it out.
Adaptability also comes in the form of convenience for us. When a new app is developed that makes our daily lives easier, you better believe that we’re going to download it. For example, you can get takeout at almost any restaurant around but only a select number of restaurants deliver. Then, apps like Postmates, Favor and Seamless started popping up, that will deliver any restaurant, you name it. Let me tell you, this has drastically changed the way I get my Chipotle fix. Digital natives are more than willing to adapt to any new technology that adds value.
Technology has allowed everyone to be more collaborative, especially digital natives. Digital natives are remarkably active in the online community. Engaging with other like-minded individuals on the Internet, through social platforms, blogs and forums, allows for deep collaboration with others. Bouncing ideas off one another and sparking imagination is at the forefront of creating a collective, interdependent culture. The digital age has only heightened our ability for collaboration and will continue to do so in the future.
So, what’s with all the hype surrounding digital natives? Digital natives are taking the digital age to the next level. We are the innovators that are making technological advancements in society and paving the way for the future.
Written by Kelly Malloy.