Thursday, March 14, 2019

Digital Immigrants? No More!

Marc Prensky coined the terms Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives in 2001. He explains how Digital Immigrant teachers - those who were not born in the digital age have learnt to adopt the new technology, and learnt to teach Digital Natives - the younger generation who are born digital.

I always call myself a successful digital immigrants someone who have not been just a witness, but an active participant in this digital media evolution. I have imbibed the digital DNA into my own, and sort of become an instant 'digital mutant' several times over, simply to survive, and not perish in the digital tsunami. I teach digital media production and marketing to students doing their postgraduate courses in advertising, entertainment, and digital marketing at the MET Institute of Mass Media, and have to be constantly on my toes, upgrading myself, to remain relevant.

But that will change soon - sooner than we thought. India has one of the world's cheapest data connectivity, and with fast proliferating mobile networks, it has spread to even the remotest corners of the country. With the country also being one of the youngest in the world (about 45% of the population is between 18 and 35 years of age - and that's HUGE), there will be no place for the 'Digital Immigrants', they will be extinct anyway.

People ask me that since I write so much about digital media, is it good or bad? Well, if you get enslaved by it, its bad, whereas if you enslave it, its good. But more than that, it is time that we, digital immigrants accept it as a way of life, and not treat digital technology is the 'other'.I know many of my friends who used to be apprehensive, and even abhor digital technology; now they all have started using it. They have not choice but to do so.

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