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Posted on Nov 4, 2009 in change | 1 comment

Digital as a Second Language

By Jill MacGregor


We live in a world that is all about transparencies.

It is so interesting…everyone walking around naked. From the smallest thing to sometimes the most personal—I could probably find out anything about you and you about me. That damn interweb…There’s a reason why you and I have not run for public office and it’s not because of poor time management.

So what do you focus on when everything is in your line of site?

I’ve been asking myself this lately and here’s why. I seem to have developed an addiction. Guess who’s got two thumbs a bad habit? THIS GAL!

Hello, my name is Jill and I’m a blogaholic.

The list of blogs I read every day is becoming longer and longer and while the content is very thought provoking, I’m starting to feel like I’m spending way too much time with other people’s thoughts instead of my own. It’s become a bit of an implementation block. I’m reading how others are accomplishing things and I need to put my own ideas into practice.

Has anyone throw their arms in the air in victory because they’ve learned how to wrassle and hogtie all the content that daily awaits us—the 10 tons of content that snorts and stomps in its pen, awaiting its release?

I am learning alot. OuchMyBrain, I am learning. Mr. Internet taught me HTML and CSS and how to build rudimentary websites. Mr. Internet led me to self publishing, a deeper understanding of SEO and blogging. I’ve been introduced to fascinating people. Underwater sea creatures. Talking dogs.

Sometimes, it has a tendency to digress.

I’m realizing that some of the people writing these blogs are young—possibly in their mid 20’s. And my first thought is, *what could they possibly tell me?*—because I’m thinking of my mid-20’s self– whom no one within the sound of my voice should take ANY advice.

In fact, run. I will only get you into trouble. I will teach you how to get free drinks out of the bartender, to cheat at pool and perfect tattoo placement based on my previous mistakes. That girl is not going to help you figure it out.

For the record, I’m smarter now.

But these blogs I’m reading—they’re insightful, they’re honest. The writers are chronically their actions as they grab change by the hand and skip with it down a merry path. Are our mid 20’s just a time in our lives when we open ourselves up to change? Is change just more exciting at that age? Easier? I don’t think that’s it.

I think it may be the different worlds we grew up in. Think how different my world is from their’s. I was surrounded by going to the moon, Viet Nam, race relations and the first time we caught our President in a big, fat lie. In general, these events changed the way we thought about our world from that point on. But when you think about technological changes…well, there was that whole moon thing but I’ve got nothing but crickets crickets after that.

Pong…there was Pong. (stare at shoes)

I want to be a digital native. (whine, stamp my foot) What would I be like if I had? I would have liked to have grown up in a time when information could be attained and shared at break neck speed. I want a breakdown in communication to mean my iPhone is unable to receive your text and a collapse of the infrastructure to mean I lost the ability to access my tweetdeck so I can tweet with my tweeple.

You are not a digital native just because you can set the alarm on your new clock without reading the directions. Being a digital native means you know how to download *Good Morning* in several different languages from iTunes, program it into an alarm setting (and ring tone) and have given your clock to your parents. Cuz you just need the phone.

I do get it. I have downloaded apps. (ohhhh…the crowd is stunned) But it’s not the same. I have to watch them do it first.

I want to initiate.

I don’t want to wait for change. I want to be the first one to hear it as it approaches in the darkness, like an oncoming train racing down the tracks. I want it to almost knock me over as it speeds past—because it is always onto the next– and fill my senses with grit and screech and motion.

Now, I know what you’re saying. I can do these things. It doesn’t matter when I was born. BUT I THINK IT DOES MATTER.

I think my world tastes different than the digital natives. I think it hits my tongue with a flavor unique to me.

I still have to read instructions and watch tutorials and learn slowly…like a clunky coal fed locomotive. Leaving a trail of black smoke and stinking up the place.


1 Comment

  1. When we are in the internet we have every information that we want to know and information that we don’t know. Best of all we LEARN. I guess this is much better than being addicted to online games. :-)

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