*Disclaimer* *Not a post about Star Trek, sorry to disappoint*
This evening, I attended a talk by James Mullen on “Emerging Technologies”, however it was a conversation after the seminar that prompted this post.
In a passing comment, ‘generations’ were mentioned with reference to using technologies, and younger users’ proficiencies. I felt slightly odd, and suddenly realised that I am no longer considered within Generation Y.
This sits very much at odds with how I feel – I am relatively new to a profession, and consider myself to be all of the buzz words and synonyms that relate to a digital native, yet when strict definitions are considered, I am not.
I would therefore like to propose a shift in definitions; similar to Saga’s idea of being as young as you feel. I consider myself to be technologically robust (if that can be considered as a thing?) and up to date with current trends, so why can’t I call myself a digital native? Rather than defining terms based on age, we should assess individual capabilities. After all, many ‘older’ professionals are early adopters of technology, and far more proficient than the so called millennials.
Perhaps definitions and labels could be applied based on how an individual feels (regardless of actual competencies). We would then be better placed to concentrate on ensuring that other skills are developed, such as information literacy. Continuing to presume technological competencies based on age will only serve as a way to hinder the development of information skills.
*edit* 21/10/2011. I have realised that the above star trek picture in fact is not The Next Generation. I have therefore included the following picture to appease those of you who weren’t happy about this.