What is a Digital Native?

A digital native is someone who has grown up in the information age. People from Generation Alpha, Millennials, and Generation Z are often considered digital natives. This means they grew up surrounded by digital information and can consume it quickly and comfortably on multiple devices and platforms. This makes them great candidates to be leaders and entrepreneurs.

Millennials and Generation Z are digital natives

Millennials and Generation Z are the digital natives of our time. They grew up in a culture of instant gratification, and they don’t even remember dial-up internet, dot matrix printers, or standing in line at the DMV. Yet, these young people are already influencing our society in ways that we never imagined.

This generation, born between 1997 and 2012, has adapted to technology like no other generation before it. It grew up with smartphones and instant access to information. The Internet has become an evergreen well of entertainment and information for them. This is a major benefit and a challenge for companies.

In the last decade, the U.S. has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people suffering from depression and suicide. This generation is often known as a “loneliest generation” because of its lack of social life and the desire to spend endless hours online. This generation also falls into the “compare and despair” trap on social media. This is affecting their mental health, and it’s causing them a great deal of stress.

While the digital natives have more time, they also have less patience. They’re constantly connected and don’t have time for slow loading apps or hard to navigate sites. As a result, they have little patience for technology, and become frustrated with lags and glitches.

The Millennials and Generation Z are the digital natives of our time. They were born after the iPhone was invented, and their use of technology has changed the way they live and work. Their generation is highly diverse, and racial and ethnic backgrounds are changing rapidly. One in four members of Generation Z is non-Hispanic white, while one fourth is Hispanic, and the rest is black, Asian, or some other race.

In addition to their innate digital skills, these young consumers are savvy about the way we use technology. Their expectations, devices, and time habits make it important for brands to engage with them on the social web. For these reasons, brands must understand Gen Zers’ digital lifestyle and expectations in order to make their retail experiences more successful.

Millennials grew up in the information age

Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce today. In this technologically advanced world, they have become highly knowledgeable, open-minded, and critical thinkers. They are able to analyze various sides of business and political happenings and can bring their own unique perspective to any work environment.

Millennials have also become accustomed to the Internet. They are more likely to use online banking and trading services, as well as to purchase insurance online. Their usage of the Internet has become ubiquitous. Moreover, they are more likely to use social media sites. Consequently, they can be highly influential members of society.

Millennials are the first generation to be born and raised in this modernized era. They were the first demographic to adopt social media. In addition to this, they are experts in Internet research. Millennials also place great value on teamwork. They work best in an environment where they are part of a larger team and are often engaged in joint projects.

Millennials were raised in a wired society and are accustomed to accessing and using information at all times. The advent of CNN in 1980 marked the beginning of the 24-hour news cycle. Because of this, Millennials are accustomed to being surrounded by facts and figures, but they are also expected to be less successful than their parents.

Another important aspect of millennials is their desire to make a difference in the world. In fact, millennials are the largest demographic of US adults who believe that climate change is the most important issue. Further, 75% of millennials are environmentally conscious and would like to change their lifestyles in an effort to reduce their impact on the environment.

Generation Z is a digital native

This generation is the first digital natives, born between 1997 and 2012. They were raised in an age of technological advancements, including smartphones and instant information. Because of these innovations, Generation Z students are acutely aware of the differences between their childhoods and those of their parents. One generational student, Emily Carnevale, from New Jersey, describes her own childhood as a digital native.

Digital natives blend a physical and digital identity, blending the worlds. They are more likely than other generations to believe that technology has a positive effect on society, with 64% believing that the Internet will improve human interaction and make the world a better place. In addition, they value freedom and tech-savviness above all else. In fact, 58% of them say they cannot go more than four hours without access to the internet.

Though Gen Z is a digital native, they still value face-to-face interactions. In fact, 84% of Gen Z members would prefer to meet their supervisors in person over communicating with co-workers or managers over texting. However, nearly half of Gen Zers would rather communicate with colleagues by email or text message. This trend suggests that this generation’s priorities are completely different than their parents’.

Because of their constant connection to technology, Generation Zers are able to multitask effortlessly, with as many as five screens open at any given time. Consequently, they are highly dependent on their smartphones and are prone to digital addiction. As a result, the battle for their attention is fierce. However, this does not mean that they are lazy or apathetic. They are highly knowledgeable and have an exceptional ability to research information.

Another distinct characteristic of Gen Zers is their willingness to adapt to different roles within an organization. In fact, they may look for more diverse roles within an organization than their parents did. According to Monica Ball, director of business development at social career platform Goodwall, Gen Zers are more likely to switch roles within an organization.

Whether a business is offline or online, it must be mindful of how to engage this group. Social media, personal brands, and online communities are key areas for brands to capitalize on. For example, Gen Zers will seek out brands that share their political opinions, while others will seek out products that have a personal touch.

Generation Z is a digital immigrant

While Generation Z shares many characteristics with Millennials, the younger generation has its own distinct perspectives. The oldest members of Generation Z, the oldest of whom will turn 23 in 2020, are far less likely to drop out of school and more likely to attend college. In fact, more than half of those in this generation are enrolled in a two-year or four-year college as of September 2018, compared with four percent for Millennials and half of Gen Xers in the same age range.

The younger generation has grown up with constant connectivity and instant entertainment. The iPhone launched when the oldest Gen Zers were 10 years old, and they were accustomed to mobile devices and high-bandwidth cellular service. In addition, Generation Zers have adopted a new way of communicating and interacting with the world, with instant communication and social media.

Though the group is small in numbers, they are a powerful consumer force. Gen Zers take their image seriously, and they care very much about what they post on social media platforms. This makes them incredibly selective about what they post on their screens. It is not surprising, then, that over 40% of Gen Z admit to being “tech-dependent.”

Gen Zers are prone to rejecting stereotypes and finding their own identities. In addition to rejecting gender roles, they value individuality. They also are highly analytical and are aware of the need to save money for the future. As a result, they value job stability over a high salary.

Digital immigrants often see a digital world as a world where technology is everywhere. In addition to smartphones, they have social media accounts and use Google for everything, including searching the internet. These users tend to become impatient with technology if it isn’t working correctly or if a company does not have an online presence.

Generation Z is a powerful consumer force and the workforce of tomorrow. Understanding this new generation requires understanding their values and the world in which they grew up. In particular, they value human dignity and equality. In addition to their values and behaviors, they also want to shape the world that they live in.

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  • Walter Acosta

    Walter Acosta is a blogger. His primary interests are in digital marketing and content creation and curation.

    walter.acosta@yourwebenterprise.com Acosta Walter

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About the Author: Walter Acosta

Walter Acosta is a blogger. His primary interests are in digital marketing and content creation and curation.