"I propose that the current so-called "Internet generation" is in fact a transitional generation, in which young Internet users are characterized to varying degrees by a dual consciousness of both their own and adult perspectives. I further suggest that the birth of a true Internet generation, which still lies some years in the future, will pave the way for changes in media attitudes and consumption that will be more thoroughgoing, normalized, and hence more difficult to question. It follows from this that we should take advantage of the present transitional moment to reflect across generations about technology and social change."
"Perhaps more surprising, many of what we consider new technologies (instant messaging, blogs, chat rooms, email, cell phones, search engines, etc.) are "transparent" to young users —they do not consider them to be technologies, except in the broadest sense. In a recent survey, U.S. undergraduates defined technology as new or customizable; for example, a cell phone with standard features is not technology, but a cell phone with new features is. For something to be "technology," in other words, it should be novel, challenging, and fun, not merely useful. (Analogously, in my generation, washing machines and telephones were not considered technology, but anything to do with computers was.)"
"In light of all this, the label "Internet generation" itself (and its variants such as "Net generation" and "digital generation") must be seen as reflecting the perspective of a demographic for whom the Internet and associated digital media are new and salient, not taken for granted as they are by many of today's youth. That is, it is an exonym—a name used to refer to a group by outsiders (in this case, adults)—rather than an endonym—a name chosen by the group to represent itself. Just as my generation did not self-identify in terms of the reproductive patterns of its parents' generation, but rather had the name "Baby Boomers" assigned to it, the current generation of young people does not self-identify in terms of the technology created by its parents' generation. Nor do most kids self-define primarily in terms of technology, although they acknowledge the prevalence of digital media in their lives."
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