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Embrace Immigration

Dec 09, 2011


Let’s talk about immigration, it is definitely a hot topic in agriculture and politics today. No… wait… nothing to do with border fences or work visas, I’ve got digital technology on the brain today.
Yesterday I met a professor from the University of Missouri. Once discovering what I do for Farm Journal he made a comment that has been rolling around in my brain for the past 24 hours. His words, "Oh so you’re here to help digital immigrants like myself become better with technology." I admit I was a little puzzled until he further explained that my generation, generation x, (I know what you’re thinking… yes, I am young) are considered to be digital natives because we have always had digital technology in our lives and his generation are considered digital immigrants because they are new to this world of smartphones, social media and Google.
Like many others in my generation, technology is my crutch. Last week I was in Chicago to give a social media workshop at the Executive Women in Agriculture conference. I arrived at Midway on time, found my train without a hitch and headed to downtown on the Orange Line. I got off at my station and reached into my pocket for my phone so that I could use my Google maps app to get me from the train to the hotel. Problem, because the screen of an iPhone is heat sensitive and not pressure sensitive, I couldn’t use my phone with gloves on. Easy solution, remove glove, head to the hotel.
Now came time to head to my dinner appointment. We had reservations at a restaurant that I had never been to but while driving to the airport I had found the restaurant on my UrbanSpoon app. (Which is a terribly convenient free app that I recommend you download today.) So being digitally bound like I am, I tried to use my UrbanSpoon app again to find directions to the place. It wouldn’t work. I tried my Google Maps app, it didn’t work. I tried to look it up on the internet, that wouldn’t work. Finally I gave up and hailed a cab.
I'm curious, would you consider yourself a digital native or a digital immigrant? Take this quiz to find out and post your results in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.
1) I have had access to a computer for more than half of my life.
     A – yes  B –no
2) I sleep with my cell phone by my bed.
     A-  yes   B- no
3) I have more than one device charger with me at all times.
     A – yes  B - no
4) I access the internet ____ for the most part.
     A – through apps on my phone or tablet  B – through the blue "e" icon inside my computer
5) Social network means…
      A – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ B – the people I meet through association or groups.
6) I haven't always had the internet, but now I use it often for business.
      A - I've always had it  B - I have adopted it.
7)  I would rather send a hand written thank you note than an email.
      A - Umm, I thought the USPS was dead   B - Of course, it's most appropriate.
If all of your answers are A, then you are definitely a digital native. If most of your answers were A, then you are a digital immigrant who is adapting well. If you asnwered mostly B, how can we help you learn more about techonology and the benefits it can have on your business?
Some of the techiest people I know are digital immigrants. Embrace it, because seriously chances are you are more well-rounded than most of my generation. You, unlike some of my peers, still know the meaning of a hand shake and eye contact.


Keith Politte is the orginator of the digital immigrant, digital native theory. Learn more about him!

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COMMENTS (1 Comments)

Jim Sly - Creswell, OR
Cute and meaningful comments from an A person. I'm sure I'm a B- person. It is all good that we all meet in the middle that manners.
I'm somewhat offended by people starring at their phones all the time rather than discussing things and observing.
3:43 PM Dec 12th


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