As a result of my stubborn aversion to cyber-networks, I have often felt excluded from conversations among the young adults in my life - my daughters and students. These hip folks are "digital natives," a term coined by educator Marc Prensky, to describe persons born into a world of digital technology and the internet. "Digital natives" are those persons who, as preschoolers, taught grandma to Google. And they instinctively understand the difference between "download" and "upload." These are the young people who find meaning in the message, "OMG, Your story made me LOL. But, don't you think this is TMI?"The site suggests I compose a profile, which is a list of favorite movies, music, quotations, and hobbies. And I am asked to write a bit "About Me." I can't resist this exercise in narcissism (I am, after all, a member of the "Me Generation"). So I immerse myself in the task of completing the profile that I imagine will define me to my networking public. Soon, my status report appears: "Kimberly Garts Crum is now married." It seems that everything in this Facebook place is new, including my 26-year marriage. I brag about my profile to my nephew. I tell him about the time I spent crafting clever paragraphs. He laughs. "Aunt Kim," he says, "Nobody cares about your profile. It's on your Wall that you create your image."
LIFE AMONG THE NATIVES: An Adventure in Social Networking Kimberly Crum Today's Woman; Nov 2009; 19, 11; Docstoc pg. 18 Reproduced with permission of the copy
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