Sunday, October 16, 2005

Old people vs new people vs newer ppl

As we are drawing to the end of our course, I just wanted to express a few ideas about growing media technoligies and the digital generation.

I used to feel sorry for my Mum because she didn't know how to use a computer, and my Dad cos he didn't know how to use a cellphone. My grandparents wouldn't even know what a DVD player is. These are things which we use in our everyday life and seem so common to us, yet many older people find so hard to grasp.

But now I feel sorry for me, a 22 year female who feels ancient. I kind of feel so uncool.

For someone like myself, who is taking this university paper to help me understand and untangle the unfolding world of new technologies, it is amazing to realise that children 10 years younger than myself are far more educated. I remember at school, I valued having the best handwriting in my class or being a top speller. I even had an advanced reading level and thought I was clever if I didn't use a calculator. I could never have dreamed of being told to turn off my cell phone before an exam, as we didn’t have cell phones. Now kids all have cell phones, are computer illerate, have ipods, digital cameras...Kids of the new digital generation will laugh at video cassettes and walkmans in the same way that we may laugh at LP records or those really big wooden TV sets. They refer to the net, instead of a library full of books.

Will their knowledge be a threat to our generation's future? Sure we can learn, but they are raised in a digital culture...Digital technologies are nothing new to them so will this give them an advantage in the employment industry where media technologies are growing and being more relied on? We were raised in the transitional phase from analogue to digitalization therefore we must rely on our learning abilities to keep up with technologies we once didn't know.

But everyone talks about the deterioration of education with the introduction of all these “new” technologies. Kids aren’t learning how to spell or write properly, or even develop good social skills. But will that matter in a future that relies on computers and new technologies?

However, I'm more concerned about our generation's future. Will what we have learnt as children be inadequate in the digital generation?


At 8:41 AM, Blogger Spivey said...

It’s an interesting proposition. I think the issue comes in the fact that our generation isn’t the creator of this technology. Yes, a lot from our generation have helped to develop here and there, but we are still the learning culture. We may have not had cellphones as early, but we certainly had them earlier than our parents did. We didn’t have them in a time when they came in a suitcase. I think if I were to challenge you by giving you a new cellphone, I’m willing to bet you could figure out all the basics quickly such as address book, text messaging, audio level, and so on. If I were to give my dad the newest cellphone, I’m willing to bet he would get lost, and throw it out the window. It’s taken him several years just to start to understand the free model the phone company gives away because it’s so dinky. If he were to challenge me on haft the things he was raised learning, id be lost beyond lost. You have to look at it this way; we are still a generation of quick, agile minds like the generation before us and the one following us. In some sense, unlike the generation before us we are able to grasp and consume new media in a fashion that matches the younger generation. They will at some point have their advantages as well. There is still one thing to note as of now, they may start earlier but they are on the same learning curve we are still. I think the issue will be come when our generation starts getting of the age where we are bringing children into the world and where they will then be learning from. The reason you can’t really make these comparisons is because of what we are taught. There are things out parents can do that we will never grasp and it comes from their generation’s education. The same will be true of our kids. Once we pass out of this age of knowledge acquisition and into one that is more consumed with day to day operation of what ever task we have vested a quarter of a century learning about we will start to live to your worries. But in the meantime, be optimistic, realize that you can still spell better than the 10 year old and when it comes to writing client reports and product summaries, you can kick that little squirts butt.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Shan said...

speaking of the olds and technology - the other day my cellphone beeped (text message) and my dad said 'who's faxing you?'. Hmmm... hope I'm not like that at his age.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger David K said...

Spelling is one problem that i have now. Sometimes i find myself can't spell some simple words. One of the main reaason is probably the overuse of spell check on Microsoft Word.

Well, there is a saying in chinese
"live till you are old and learn till you are old". It is never too late to learn those new technologies that my be available in the future. Both of my parents knows how to surf the internet and txting with their mobile.


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