Digital natives are the global village’s new idiots
Digital natives are among us, they use the tablet even before learning to read and grow up in a world where digital technologies are an integral part of their life. Being unable to read hence to think as well, the aforementioned digital natives are unaware of the fact that they actually are the ones being used by uselessly expensive disposable gadgets, and that their role in the modern technology world mainly is to behave like idiots and waste money when there is a new trendy toy to purchase whatever it takes.
Coined by Marc Prensky in an article published in 2001, the original formulation of the “digital native” expression was referring to the transformation of the American educational processes related to the new (and alleged) learning needs of boys grown up among graphical interfaces, video games, “social media” and all the 100 billion distractions endlessly conveyed by Internet and Personal Computers; nowadays, to talk about digital natives essentially equals to define somewhat young boys and girls always connected to the Internet, always active on social networks, on YouTube, with smartphone apps and instant messaging clients used by friends and peers.
As Paolo Attivissimo already wrote, digital natives have generally no awareness of what they do, they cannot tell Internet apart from a network service, an app for mobile gadgets from a Web site, they are absolutely incapable of dealing with computer hardware peculiarities and they tend more and more to trust what they read on-line, anything they read on-line as reality or true facts; as my philosophy teacher from high school would say, digital natives have not enough discerning ability to understand the digital world they wallow in like tiny transparent fishes with vitreous and expressionless eyes; they are beings with no habit for off-line thinking, by using only the power of their brain disconnected from the cloud, elusive children for whom purchasing 5,000 euros-worth of additional contents in a dumb free-to-play casual game for iPad is the most natural thing in the world.
A pack of digital natives in their natural habitat
If we look for a definition that’s more fitting to their behavior and daily habits, digital natives are like the village idiots of popular folklore in a world turned village thanks to the instantaneous sharing of information through Internet and the other computer technologies. Young fools unaware of their foolishness, the global village’s new idiots aren’t mocked any more because they form the basic grease that makes the economic cogs of the modern technology industry move.
They buy smartphones, tablets and other hi-tech gadgets of questionable usefulness, every year a new model to be up with the trends and what their peers do. If you are parents with a digital native at home, give in: you will be the ones to pay up, and with hard cash, for the stupidity of your Internet idiots. And you will brag with relatives and friends about how smart they are because they can use mobile gadgets better than you. For the good of your bank accounts and the future of your digital idiots, turn off all the screens in the house and give them a book. Whichever one does, maybe with many nice images, to let them start using their brain when they are disconnected as well.
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