Digital Natives: All You Need to Know About Them

27 December, 2020
Digital natives are children born in the 1990s and, therefore, born in the digital age. For this reason, they're children with great logical skills and abilities.

It’s indisputable that technology is now part of our everyday lives and it allows us to manage a great deal of tasks. A few years ago, this wasn’t the case. We didn’t depend so much on technology to do anything, and thus, many people have had to adapt to this. However, others were born into this technological world, and they’re known as “digital natives.”

When we talk about digital natives, we mean the generation that grew up in the age of technology. And this has made them very skilled and comfortable in the digital environment. Do you want to know more about them? Here, we’ll tell you.

Digital Natives: All You Need to Know About Them


What are digital natives?

Mark Prensky, writer and speaker on education, introduced the term “digital native.” He did it to refer to the people who were born in and after the 90s, since they’d grow up in a world where technology had a great relevance in society. This makes them have greater skills and abilities to use digital tools and devices.

Digital natives have an excessive relation of dependence with technology, since they use them for everything. This includes studying, communication, purchasing, entertainment, information, etc.

The cognitive structure of digital natives is different. When they start working in a company, these people bring different values. For this reason, many companies take into account the characteristics of this generation and hire them to improve their productivity. In other words, they take advantage of the potential of these digital experts.

6 things you should know about digital natives

Nowadays, we’ve surrounded ourselves by technology in every area of our lives. We’re nobody without our phones, tablets, computers, without the internet… Technology’s become something essential in our lives, something that was unthinkable just a few years ago. Let’s see some features and curiosities about digital natives.

They usually have a very high capacity of intuition and logical reasoning

These children are used to relating concepts to actions, so they’re always looking for a reason behind what they do. All this also favors the learning of certain areas having to do with science and technology, programming, robotics, artificial intelligence, etc. This is because, in order to carry out this type of activities, they need that logical thinking they possess to find the solution to all the challenges they encounter.

They need to interact in order to learn – it’s not enough for them to memorize

When they study, they need feedback in order to know that they’re doing well. For this reason, the best method for a digital native to learn is to feel involved in the subject. They need to participate through activities and challenges that make them think that what they’re studying is useful and fun.

They’re self-taught and like to create content

These children don’t usually ask adults when they have a question. Rather, they go online and look for the answers to their concerns. They’re children who are very informed and, in a few seconds, can cover their need for knowledge through this medium. They’re also very good at creating interesting content, tutorials, game guides, YouTube channels, among many other things; especially when they’re older.

They have a much more open mind

Since they’ve grown up with technology all around them, they understand no borders and communicate with people from many different places. This generation is discovering a multitude of cultures, customs, and ideas as they interact in different forums, pages, online games…

They usually have friends from different parts of the world and this makes them have a much more open-minded and less traditional way of thinking.

They’re very active in social networks

These digital natives don’t just manage one social network, they manage them all. Moreover, they do so with ease. These are kids who are connected to the world through the internet at all times. And, what’s more, they feel the need to share everything they do through these social networks.

Digital Natives: All You Need to Know About Them

This is one of the points that can worry parents the most. It means their use must be controlled very well, because abuse of social networks can cause problems.

Digital natives are often more impatient

Since results on the internet and social media are practically instantaneous, these kids are used to getting things immediately. They think they can have everything they want right away, just like they do in the digital environment. They can download movies, songs, and books with just the click of a button, play games, and find whatever information they’re looking for.

It’s important that we instill in them the importance of effort and patience in their lives, two fundamental values for success.

In short, digital natives are the children of the technology generation. As such, they show some peculiar characteristics in comparison to those who grew up without these technologies and have had to adapt.

They were born when technology was already an important part of our everyday lives. Therefore, their way of thinking and behaving has a great deal to do with it.

 

  • Piscitelli, A. (2008). Nativos digitales. Contratexto, (016), 43-56.
  • Cabra-Torres, F., & MarCiales-ViVas, G. P. (2009). Mitos, realidades y preguntas de investigación sobre los’ nativos digitales’: una revisión. Universitas Psychologica, 8(2), 323-338.
  • Beltrán, R. O., Gómez, M. B., & Uriarte, J. R. (2009). Nativos digitales y aprendizaje. Una aproximación a la evolución de este concepto. ICONO 14, Revista de comunicación y tecnologías emergentes, 7(1), 31-53.