To digital or not to digital?
Working with young people and their parents, both of whom can often times be buried in the opportunities provided by ever-advancing technology, I have often wondered if I truly occupy a hut in the DN village. I am 33 years old and played my first entertainment system at the age of 5. Although I received my first cell phone when I was 22 years old, I have owned and operated an iPhone for the past 5 years and recently purchased an iPad. I get upset about the prospect of visiting a place where there might be a spotty internet connection and the thought of visiting a locale where I cannot use the internet at all makes start to hyperventilate a little.
Given the aforementioned and somewhat embarassing aspectss of my relationship with technology, I still feel a stronger affinity to the "expats of the analog" world than to any DN and I would like to note a few differences between the two groups:
1. Patience is a virtue that is slowly but surely no longer being valued as we embrace technology every more closely. DNs know patience as the time required to wait for a webpage to refresh, a text to successfully be sent, or the time required for their Killing Spree cooldown in WoW to be over. When researching a paper or project in school, DNs are upset when the first link on Google doesn't provide them with enough information. Heaven forbid they should have to to search more thoroughly or *gasp*, enter a library and use primary, secondary, or tertiary sources to acquire information. Analog expats know patience in a more geological (relatively speaking) sense. Waiting for your children to come back in from playing outside; waiting for the next book in a favorite series to be released; or watching as the chocolate chip cookies swell, turn brown, and start to smell really delicious are all measures of patience for the analog expat. Does this make analog expats better than DNs? I don't know.
2. Silence. Have you ever sat in a public transit vehicle and looked at the 17 year old sitting across from you? Like clockwork, look to their ears. I guarantee that approximately 75% of DNs will have an earbud in or a headphone on at least one of their ears. Look to the group of DNs sitting together and conversing. Even when interacting directly with one another, you can follow the cord from their ear down to an electronic device somewhere on their person. Can anyone very truly be invested in a conversation when there is a podcast, music, or a book-on-tape (lulz, yeah right) playing in their other ear? I know silence as sitting on my back terrace watching cars drive by. I know silence as the pit-pat of my feet as I run through the neighborhood and wonder what is going on in the houses I pass. Studies show that no one is truly capable of multi-tasking, so is it possible that DNs will eventually evolve out of that inability? Are they already more capable than their analog forefathers?