The Children of Cyberspace

The Children of Cyberspace - TECHNOLOGY The Children of...

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TECHNOLOGY The Children of Cyberspace: Old Fogies by Their 20s Oksana Badrak By BRAD STONE Published: January 10, 2010 My 2-year-old daughter surprised me recently with two words: "Daddy's book." She was holding my Kindle electronic reader. Here is a child only beginning to talk, revealing that the seeds of the next generation gap have already been planted. She has identiFed the Kindle as a substitute for words printed on physical pages. I own the device and am still not completely sold on the idea. My daughter's worldview and life will be shaped in very deliberate ways by technologies like the Kindle and the new magical high-tech gadgets coming out this year - Google's Nexus One phone and Apple's impending tablet among them. She'll know nothing other than a world with digital books, Skype video chats with faraway relatives, and toddler-friendly video games on the iPhone. She'll see the world a lot differently from her parents. But these are also technology tools that children even 10 years older did not grow up with, and I've begun to think that my daughter's generation will also be utterly unlike those that preceded it. Researchers are exploring this notion too. They theorize that the ever-accelerating pace of technological change may be minting a series of mini-generation gaps, with each group of children uniquely in±uenced by the tech tools available in their formative stages of
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development. "People two, three or four years apart are having completely different experiences with technology," said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project. "College students scratch their heads at what their high school siblings are doing, and they scratch their heads at their younger siblings. It has sped up generational differences." One obvious result is that younger generations are going to have some very peculiar and unique expectations about the world. My friend's 3-year-old, for example, has become so accustomed to her father's multitouch iPhone screen that she approaches laptops by swiping
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The Children of Cyberspace - TECHNOLOGY The Children of...

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