Digital immigrants suffer Internet-induced attention deficit disorder.

My good friend Roger has been talking about digital natives (his younger kids) for some time.

Digital natives and digital immigrants are terms coined by the American futurist Marc Prensky to distinguish between those who have grown up with technology and those who have adapted to it

I purchased a copy of The Times (incidentally a very good read) on holiday and read the following article How the Google generation thinks differently which outlined some differences between the two opposing groups (one which is Internet induced and has attention deficit side-effects)


  • Digital natives
    Like receiving information quickly from multiple media sources.
    Like parallel processing and multi-tasking.
    Like processing pictures, sounds and video before text.
    Like random access to hyperlinked multimedia information.
    Like to network with others.
    Like to learn “just in time”.
  • Digital immigrants
    Like slow and controlled release of information from limited sources.
    Like singular processing and single or limited tasking.
    Like processing text before pictures, sounds and video.
    Like to receive information linearly, logically and sequentially.
    Like to work independently.
    Like to learn “just in case”.

Roger always thinks of himself as an immigrant but I'm not so sure. His evidence is that his children assume new forms of communication are the norm (e.g. messenger) but Roger himself is the biggest user I know of Twitter (see Twitter intro video from his site) which is another emergent micro communications format.

Whilst trying to find the times article online I came across another couple of articles: