Opinion: Forget “digital natives.” Here’s how kids are really using the Internet…

Hmm the internet…

Internet — a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols (google.com.au, 2017).

hmmm communication facilities and protocols

It all seems a little confusing to me. So how are kids really using these communication facilities?

We have begun a new era, where digital natives are well out the window and we have welcomed the next tech savvy generation….or have we?

As the world grows as does technology and our ability to access more and more, I don’t even remember the last time I saw a phone book, let alone opened one for a phone number or map usage. ( Side note — Thank GOD for google maps and GPS, Seriously! SO GOOD!)

We have found ourselves embedded in an age where literally anything we want to know can be accessed via the internet, how to’s and all. This brings me to question, how are kids really using the internet and do how do we monitor it?

Alexandra Samuel wrote, that after surveying 10 000 North American parents she found parents we monitoring internet and digital media use in 3 different ways creating 3 different types of tech savvy adults of the future; digital orphans, exiles and heirs.

Much like actual orphans, digital orphans have lived their tech life parent free, with very little communication, guidance or monitoring. Studies have shown that digital orphans go about their tech life in an unsafe manner. They enter sites they are unsure of, their enter bank details here there and everywhere and they even access things they are intrigued about that their minds are to young to comprehend. Imagine a young male digital orphan, with Very little digital guidance or monitoring, intrigued about sex; so what does he do, he googles it and what does he find..porn! that’s right porn. The fact that there and no condoms in use are enough to send an unsafe message to you people, let alone many other message about sex and their worth. In my opinion digital orphans are among the worrying crowd and parents need to reconsider the monitoring options or else we are failing our children by failing to do so.

Then there are the children whom are in digital exile. There parents are protective, Super Protective! They are exiled from the tech world and find their own routes to get there or when they finally do get their the go NUTS!! The exile stirs rebellion in them and gives them the need to do anything and everything wrong just to stick it to exile island and their parents. These kids are worrying because they have had little guidance and haven’t had the opportunity to adapt along the way, when they finally hit the tech world they are going to make a boom!

Lastly is the digital heirs, these kids are CLUED on, mostly in thanks to their parents, they have been correctly equipped with tech tools and safety, they are forging ahead in their tech savvy was but the problem all these kids are facing is that the indifference in digital upbringing is creating gaps in communication.

The digital heirs are wanting to create online google doc roosters for chores, whereas the digital exiles are wanting to have face to face discussion.

Where is the balance? how do we create it? is there one way? or are we destined to clash as we forge ahead, a new world, a new era and a generation of highly confused tech users in a primarily technological world!!


Samuel, A. (2017). Opinion: Forget “digital natives.” Here’s how kids are really using the Internet. [online] ideas.ted.com. Available at: https://ideas.ted.com/opinion-forget-digital-natives-heres-how-kids-are-really-using-the-internet/ [Accessed 16 Oct. 2017].

Google.com.au. (2017). define internet — Google Search. [online] Available at: https://www.google.com.au/search?dcr=0&source=hp&q=define+internet&oq=define+internet&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0l10.2152.4081.0.4293. [Accessed 16 Oct. 2017].

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