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Buenos Aires, Argentina. Email: joaquinlinne gmail. From surveys, interviews and observations in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, we assert that there are two generations of digital natives ND : young people 1. Although both share common characteristics, the 2. These personal images and texts, which they share with their peer group through social networking sites, express a new conception of privacy that we can call "multimidad". Also, we divided the ND 2. Just as the nineteenth century was marked by the Industrial Revolution and the rise of new nations, the end of the twentieth century and the dawn of the twenty-first century are characterized by the irruption of new information and communication technologies NICTs.
In this context, those people who reached adulthood before the mass use of these technologies may be labeled as "digital immigrants" PRENSKY, , like the people who came off ships to live in an unknown country. On the other hand, contemporary youth, who have spent thousands of hours using technological devices for communication, entertainment and information-processing are called "digital natives" PRENSKY, hereafter, DN. Young people find in NICTs a place for meeting friends and sharing experiences with peers, together with an unprecedented autonomy from adults.
Adolescence and youth are normally periods in which profound changes are undergone and meaningful identity configurations adopted, both at the bodily and the cognitive levels KRAUSKOPF, Based on the empirical evidence gathered, we claim that both children, and adolescents and youths 1 share a series of generational characteristics regarding their relationship with technology and with social relationships mediated by NICTs which we synthesize in a new sensitivity to the digital world CASTELLS et al.
All areas of human activity have been transformed by the interstitiality of the uses of the Internet. New, emerging socialization and sociability modes are evidenced by the ease with which youths and adolescents experience their continuous going on and off SNSs in their everyday lives.
Now, what are the common characteristics of DNs? Firstly, they have a heightened sensitivity for the manipulation of technical communication devices when compared to adults. For instance, they divide their attention fluently between the activities and dialogues co-existing side by side in the various windows of their computer, mobile phone and music-playing device. Our hypothesis is that there are two generations of digital natives, which in turn may be differentiated according to their degrees of technological literacy.
The methodology employed consists of quantitative techniques such as surveys n: and n: , Facebook profile contents analysis FB n: , and qualitative, 36 in-depth interviews, and virtual and face-toface observations of adolescents and youths residing in the City of Buenos Aires. With this aim in mind, we have worked with two intentional samples grouped according to social sector. The adolescents and youths from LIS 2 share three characteristics: 1 their parents have not graduated from secondary school; 2 their parents are unemployed or are in precarious employment 3 ; and 3 they live at homes lacking at least one residential public service and one neighbourhood service.
On the other hand, MIS youths and adolescents present some distinctive characteristics of their own: 1 their parents have finished secondary school; 2 their parents are in stable employment or have incomes which allow them to cover the basic food basket, or a monthly remuneration above the minimum wage; and 3 they live in homes not lacking residential or neighbourhood public services 4.
The interviews and observations have been conducted in the street, schools, digital inclusion centres, community centres, cybercafes, bars, public transport and fast food restaurants. In order to contact the adolescents and youths, in many cases we have resorted to the "snowball" strategy. Also, in order to complete our fieldwork, we have done "virtual ethnography" HINE, , consisting in the creation of a purpose-built FB profile.
This profile currently runs up to 2, contacts between Buenos Aires adolescents and youths. The choice of this type of virtual ethnography to complement face-to-face contact was useful at this stage of the research, in which our focus of analysis points to technological uses and skills. The first generation of internauts lived through their adolescence during the s in the days of Internet 1.
Instead, the second generation was weaned on Internet 2. By Internet 1. In these years, the Net consisted of thousands of websites, mainly text-based. By Internet 2. As from these years, SNSs began to become accessible to all, until they became central to the lives of most internauts. At the same time, multimedia was developed and made economically accessible, which enabled millions of people to have access to a computer with an Internet connection, gaming consoles, smart mobile phones and digital cameras for the first time.
Whereas the first generation of youths spent their adolescence with Internet 1. Based on this argument, this paper describes the similarities and differences encountered between these two generations: the one of those born between and , whom we call "digital natives 1. If each society constitutes itself based on and by means of the specific technology there is available in its historic time, this is still more relevant for youths, historically avid consumers of technological innovations BALARDINI, DNs 1.
In this way, DNs 1. Whereas DNs 1. As a result, it could be said that DNs 2. Nowadays two generational communities coexist, one of youths —even children— and another of adults, which, even if they share one mobile, multimodal information technology, use it and transform it in different and distinct ways CASSANY; AYALA, , p.
Notwithstanding the contribution of pioneering research, it is in order to mention that it is common for the categories "children", "adolescents", "youths" and "digital natives" to operate as theoretical concepts which effectively make the differences invisible with a view to the construction of a research subject.
The generational differentiation proposed here originates in the mass use of technological changes beginning in the s which fuel the conglomerate of NICTs: DVD, MP3, digital cameras, PCs and videogame consoles.
These devices, among others, are making their way into children's and adolescents' everyday lives. As a result, the chosen classification lends greater force to the argument that DNs 2. Below, we describe the specific characteristics of DNs 2. They were born and raised with NICTs: contemporary adolescents, because they were born in the second half of the s, tend to have attained their primary and secondary socialization in digital environments.
This gives rise to differences in uses and sensitivities compared to the previous generation, who — in most cases — started to inhabit their everyday life in digital environments as from their adolescence. They are a post-email generation: in most cases, they have not and do not use email, except for sending or receiving job proposals.
They normally communicate with their friends, family and schoolmates through SNSs and instant messaging. Electronic mail they are just not interested in because they do not find it functional, unlike the previous generation, for whom email is —or at least has been until recently— a fundamental tool Linne, In this respect, they function not unlike some of their previous-generation peers, even though among adolescents this continuous overlap is even more common and less questioned.
For example, in order to take advantage of "dead time", like waiting for public transport or in order to entertain themselves during school breaks, they deploy various strategies by means of portable digital devices which most carry on them. Expressing intimate aspects and aesthetic-emotional experiences on social networks: they share a new type of intimacy as a matter of course, which we may call "multimacy" 5 , since through SNSs they express and exchange meaningful aspects of their everyday lives in a multiple and semi-public way, generating digital intimacy among peers.
Partly because of the imperative of sharing intimacy in order to be popular, DNs 2. In turn, they express their intimacy through NICTs because they often develop an intimate-affective relationship with these mobile technological devices, which they hardly separate from and with which they associate a meaningful part of their identity and status. Young people consider their mobile phone to be an identity-defining feature, as they allow them to reflect what they like and to appear to be unique, individual, to have certain status, and to be related to a certain brand.
Mobile phone offers young people autonomy and connection, and allows them to evade parental and adult control. The permanent connection is tangible proof that with mobile phones young people may transgress rules, controls and social authority. Young people like to share, even their intimacy, to promote an open attitude. Together with the development and growth of NICTs in everyday life, adolescents have re-elaborated their intimacy by means of mobile devices and SNSs.
These technologies are such as allow them to manage their continuous social availability in a most efficient and satisfactory manner — which becomes greater personal visibility — with the deployment of a new intimacy removed from adults CASTELLS et al. For adolescents generating their intimacy among peers is closely related to perceiving these technologies as "being at home" ARORA, The social matrix on which the subjectivity of these digital natives was built is different; therefore, their subjectivity is different.
The required intimacy offerings needed to be a part of this tribe seem to be constant publication of personal images and texts. This obligation and fascination with paying homage to the exhibition of intimacy in social networks is characteristic of digital natives especially, 2. Instead, adults digital immigrants were socialized in a different type of intimacy more linked to the private sphere, where personal matters must not reach public status.
School, family, the mass media, their partners, their families and their group of peers have taught them that what is right is being discreet and reserved.
Contrarily, the new generations of adolescents exhibit their intimacy in a covert and performatic fashion through FB, Twitter and other SNSs. The computer has succeeded television in its totemic condition, but with the peculiarity that digital natives find a different meaning in it and project onto this device a great many expectations linked to play, experimentation, learning and sociality, to the extent that they regard computers as part of their identity ALBARELLO, , p.
Unlike most adults, the experiences of adolescents are crosscut by instantaneity, multitasking, hyperconnectedness and the permanent exchange of stimuli with their community through SNSs and instant messaging. As a graphic summary highlighting the main characteristics of DNs 2. These examples are based on scenarios repeated at millions of homes all over the world and in Buenos Aires as well.
This generation of adolescents that we call DNs 2. While adults perceive NICTs as tools, adolescents "live" in, with and for them, and it is from that everyday coexistence that they build a media-digital environment which configures their world vision.
Some authors claim that LIS adolescents are digital immigrants. On the other hand, the true digital immigrants, i. Naturally, this must be matched with variables, such as educational level, cultural capital and technological environments. However, do all of them have the same skills?
Do different appropriations amount to different types of digital citizenship? Does having advanced knowledge of, for example, English, writing, audiovisual design and programming make them any more digital natives than those from the same generation not possessing such knowledge? Also, Albarello classifies adolescents as "inforich" and "infopoor", depending on their everyday contact, or lack thereof, with at least one meaningful part of the great wealth of information available through NICTs.
Thus, within the "inforich", an adolescent who masters IT language would be an "expert" whereas one who conducts satisfactory searches for information and is capable of discriminating diverse sources of information would be "advanced".
On the other hand, an adolescent who cannot conduct these information searches would be "a newbie" and "infopoor". Having said that, we claim that the large majority of LIS adolescents are digital natives, ludic-communicational DNs, but natives all the same. MIS and high income-sector adolescents are, mostly, expert DNs 2. This is so because they normally have available a greater cultural capital and a more varied technological environment, which results in relatively more diverse uses of NICTs.
In keeping with these categories, we have established two sub-categories within DNs 2. Can we think, then, about a digital NICTs accesibility gap 1. According to this model, the most complex Internet tools and applications would be the Paradise of the overliterate who live in the "digital cloud", whereas FB and the rest of SNSs would be the limbo of the underliterate — apart from recreational and sociability space for the former.
Lastly, Internet inaccessibility due to incompetence, lack of skills or possibilities would be the Hell of the digital immigrants. Communication and entertainment practices are increasingly mediated by NICTs in similar ways for everyone, but differences appear when we inquire into school uses. The technological environment of the under literate DNs 2. Instead, in the case of literate DNs 2. Finally, use of the Internet is often more reduced in the case of the under literate, since they are mostly concerned with using FB, games, streaming sites and Youtube.
Beyond these uses, the literate tend to conduct other more strategic ones, such as bibliographic and job searches, consultations of forums and tutorials on IT programs and periodic enquiries to news sites through the Internet. This differentiation lends greater support to the claim about the existence of a generation gap.
Nevertheless, beyond some nuances, we can establish common features according to the characteristics of each population under study.
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