A Digital Gap

Recently, I’ve been noticing people say things like “MySpace is just for kids – over 30 year olds will never use it” or “I still don’t get SMS, why would anyone SMS when you can just send email?”. It’s usually 35+ year olds who say those things. What struck me the other day is how they sound just like my parents who said things like “I don’t need a PC and I don’t understand why I’d ever use one”. Back then, we started seeing a gap open up between analog and digital generations. The young generation embraced PCs, the old generation tried to avoid them and stick to their tried and true ways. Now we are seeing a gap appear between the first and second digital generations. The PC generation is holding on to their PC worldview and feels that the emerging always-on, always-connected world of social networks and mobile devices is somehow annoying, superfluous or dangerous. Meanwhile, the next generation – the connected generation? – is embracing the idea of being constantly connected, their digital devices and personas are a natural part of their lives and technology is the primary means of connecting with friends.

3 replies on “A Digital Gap”

These people obviously don't live in a developing country, where people cannot afford a $500 PC. Information and communication technology (in the form of the mobile phone) is starting to improve the lives of billions poor people around the world.

Five years from now, cell phones will displace PCs and laptops as the primary device for computing, communication, and entertainment.

At Web 2.0 I heard the (over 35) CEO of a well-known Silicon Valley web commerce company say "soccer moms can't figure out tagging." OK, if you say so, but I remember a time when they couldn't figure out email and e-commerce, and in time they somehow got it.

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