Saturday, February 28, 2009

Digital "Natives" vs. Digital "Immigrants"

Okay. Be forewarned. This is a rant. I may offend some people.
Feel free to exit if you are offended.

As many of you know, I have been taking graduate classes up the wazoo so that I can finish my master's degree by June. I generally enjoy the classes. I am currently taking a class that meets on weekends. I spent all day (8:00 - 5:30) in class. The final meeting is tomorrow.

My issue is my "texting" classmates. I have problems with people who feel the need to text constantly. Why?

I have to deal with this shit in high school. Teenagers feel the uncontrollable need to text constantly! We used to be able to confiscate cell phones. We are no longer authorized to do that. The administrators do not support us because they are tired of dealing with kids. The truth is they are tired of dealing with the parents of these darling cherubs. The parents seem to think that their children need to be within a button's reach if an emergency should occur. Parents actually text their kids in school for fuck's sake!

Now I am in a graduate level class for teachers. At least one third of the class members have their cell phones on their desk, or in their pocket, or in their purse. These people are all teachers and they are fucking texting during the class! The professor has never said a thing.

So today Neetzy was annoyed as hell and decided to be confrontational (in a nice way). One particular student, a young woman around the age of 24-25 was texting almost constantly. I says, "I notice you text a lot".
She says. "Oh I HAVE to. My sister is going to Texas tomorrow and we have a lot of stuff to do.
WTF?? I'm thinking wait one half hour to call your sister.
I respond "Don't you find that annoying when your students do that?"
Her response. "Oh no. I'm a digital native. We do that. You are digital immigrants. You have to get used to the way we operate."
I suppressed the urge to smack her. I also suppressed the urge to lecture her on rude, idiotic behavior. After all, she was a graduate of one of our area's finest Christian institutions that pride themselves on teaching "family and Christian values".
I realize I am old enough to be her mother.
So I am a "digital immigrant" . I wasn't raised with a computer on my lap or a cell phone attached to my ear (or fingers). I didn't learn to use them in school. I had to learn on my own.
I'm thinking I want to rename these digital natives. I can think of a few less flattering fucks? digital dipshitz? I'm fishing for suggestions...anyone?


Christine Mercer-Vernon said...

enough is enough sometimes. i agree with you. i'm partial to digital fuck' always feels more satisfying to get a good f-word in their once in a while, has an authoritive feel. ;)

Jeannette St.G. said...

I agree with you (and you were very nice about it!) texting is rude, as is listening to music, or any manner that suggests that what the person in front of you says or does is of lesser importance as what you are doing yourself.

dive said...

I am so with you on that one, Neetzy.
Here's a link that might help:

Jam the bastards and let 'em squeal.

Shazza said...

digital navtives? Is she for real? Digital dorks, digital bimbos - but I think digital fucks is a very good name for them.

I've seen execs at meetings on their crackberry's texting, I've seen my own daughter at a recent dinner texting (although she did wait until the meal was done).

I would love to get one of those blockers but I think they are illegal here in the us...unfortunately.

neetzy said...

I think I'm sticking with digital fucks. It feels good to say it!

I hear you. Have these people never heard of manners?

I'd love a blocker, but Shaz thinks they're illegal here. I'll check into it.

Yeah and we started class late b/c this little native had to go to church before class today.

the only daughter said...

LoL DFs. Yeah. Just the other day I was musing as to how it is we survived, going to the grocery store & other errands, school, work, and such--without being permanetly connected to our device(s).

Barbara Pask said...

Hi Anita, Were you a bit mad when you wrote this or what? lol I just can't imagine being a teacher, especially of high school students. They should have to turn off their phones, I can't believe the crap teachers have to put up with now. I sometimes wonder what kind of people we are raising, kind of scary. My daughter is a teacher too, it is such a tough job.

Ben Birk said...

Loved this post. Proud to say I have not had texting on my phone for over 2 years. If you want to talk to me call me or meet me in person. People are very rude with there texting. I really hate seeing kids my age on there phone 24/7. They wake up to text and fall asleep texting. Wonder how they will live there lives as adults. Us all living in our own 10x10 rooms texting one another.