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Week 3 Medium Reflection Post

I think age has been formerly considered a predominant factor in successful engagement with the Internet because young people are good with technology when they start to use it at a young age. They learn how to use technology in the same way that they learn to speak a language. The older someone gets, the harder it is to learn how to use technology. In the video, we hear David say that when you learn to use technology at an older age it tends to be similar to the way it is to learn a second language. It is something that doesn’t come natural, but takes a lot of work. I also thought it was interesting to hear and learn more about digital natives. David talks about how digital natives encouraged an idea that they didn’t need to teach the younger generation how to use technology, but that the expectation was that the younger generation was going to teach them. I think this shows how young people are typically seen as the ones to know more and be more skilled with using technology than someone who is older. I think the problem with there being digital natives and immigrants is that not everyone has access to the same amount of technology. The amount of access that someone has to technology while growing up, has an impact on how much they are able to engage with it. For this reason, I find that the continuum is a great way to measure our engagement based on our motivation.

I would say that I consider myself somewhat of a resident because I have a somewhat of a strong presence online. I am someone who shares some personal information on social media but not all of it. I really enjoy going online and just spending time interacting with others. I wouldn’t say I am a far left resident because I find that I am not focused on just living out my life online. In the article, “Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement,” it says that a proportion of their lives is actually lived out online where the distinction between online and off-line is increasingly blurred. I find myself to be present online by having a profile on social networking platforms, but I don’t feel like I am dependent on them. I find that I don’t express a lot about myself online and honestly value time offline. I think this continuum is a great way to explain online engagement especially because you don’t necessarily fall into one category. I definitely see myself somewhere in the middle where I am engaging with people online but I also find myself using the internet as a tool.

I really enjoyed reading Mesh’s article about the internet and youth culture. I thought it was interesting how young people are using the internet to accomplish developmental tasks. They are using the internet to form their identity and form relationships with people. Youth are having conversations with their friends at school and using the internet to continue that conversation once they are not together. The internet allows for kids to have a space where they can learn more about each other and form stronger connections. I think our culture is changing so much because of how much youth are engaging online. They are constantly jumping back and forth between different online activities. It is also crazy to me that so many youth are sharing everyday details to larger audiences and building an identity. Growing up, I was never worried about going online and sharing personal information that would help me build an identity as I got older.

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Arianna Delmoral

Student-Athlete at the University of Minnesota majoring Business and Marketing Education