Digital Inhabitant

I acknowledge the fact that I’ve been born a tv-native (I’ve never wondered about a tv-less world) but my children are what they call ‘digital natives’. Think of it, the communicator we’d love to have from Star-Trek, is what they call an iPhone, blackberry or if you are really hip, an android phone.

We got the technology Star Trek dreamt about delivered at our doorstep. To my son, there is no difference between the tv-remote and my iPhone, just because I was that stupid to install some application that allowed me to control my tv through my iPhone. But when he grows up, there really isn’t a difference.

I’m called Gen-X, the generation next to the BabyBoomers, just before GenY, the digitally adaptees, and so far away from GenZ, the digitally natives. My children will grow up in a world where tv-screens are a thing of the past, where social interaction, the day after a programme, will be cut short in YouTube fragments.

What both the babyboomers and GenY seem to misunderstand, is that GenX made it happen. Where would Facebook be, without cheap data plans on your mobile? Without internet reaching every single home? We grew up with the fear that one day, we’d be out of ip4 internet addresses, but we’re also the generation that thought of IPv6. We’ve put our parents on the internet and we’re giving that same internet to our children.

GenX may be silent and silly to most of you, we made the world you’re experiencing right now. We did see the potential, we just didn’t want to make money of something that should have been available to everyone when we were young. So, not only did we get our parent online, we shared the online world with our children.

Gen Y blames us for not having it ready way before they came, but I happen to think that if Gen X had the digital platform we now have, we probably wouldn’t be bothered with producing Gen Y at all. I know I’m still waiting for a massive online Grand Theft Auto 😉 Oh shoot, I just gave away yet another idea some GenY’er will make a fortune…

But really, the best digital inhabitant today probably is the 30-40 year old. These are the people that had to live without and learned to live with all the opportunities offered. We’re probably the last generation that actually had to go somewhere in the flesh to meet a partner. We know how to operate those communicators, as we’ve invented them… But we also know what it means to interact with real people in real life.

hell, we’re probably the last generation that knows the meaning of the acronym IRL 😉