Digital Immigrants and Natives (more)

June 26, 2006 at 11:57 am 3 comments

posted by hal….

Last week, as reported here and elsewhere, Lord Saatchi, the Briritsh advertising icon, pronounced advertising as we know it dead.

One facet of his thesis which kept coming up over the weekend was the notion that the brains of Digital Natives are physiologically different than those of Digital Immigrants.

If you recall, Digital Natives are people under 25 – those who grew up with the internet. Digital Immigrants are geezers over 25. We’ve learned the customs and language of this new land, but will always speak with an accent.

So it turns out that the brains of the Natives have developed differently than our own. They are wired differently. This phenomenon is called CPA, or Continuous Partial Attention (sometimes Constant Partial Attention).

Natives are constantly doing three, four five things at once, processing information, making decisions, taking action on many simultaneous levels. It’s beyond multitasking. It’s hypertasking.

Digital Natives hang out on Web 2.0 places like YouTube and Flickr.To be successful in our brave new world, marketers and communicators will need to learn how to blend in with the Natives and communicate without a thick Immigrant accent.

It might require that we re-wire our brains.


Entry filed under: Advertising, Internet, language, Marketing, The Media Landscape, Web 2.0, wordsmithing.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. brooksbell  |  June 28, 2006 at 2:53 pm

    Combined with this phenomenon, I think that the segmenting of media into 200+ TV channels and thousands (or millions) of blogs and web sites on the Internet will lead to less expensive and more frequent niche advertising programs over large-scale multi-million dollar campaigns.

    Instead of one brilliant campaign coming down from the mountain etched on stone tablets, I think companies will start tending toward many small campaigns with quick turnaround.


  • 2. Nachttisch Buche  |  August 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    […] Buche Ad Lounge /* Settings for Syon Policy */ #syon-privacy { font-family:Arial; font-size:12px; } Nachttisch […]

  • 3. boskolives  |  April 24, 2013 at 9:57 am

    As a Digital Immigrant well past 25, I find that the Digital Natives I must daily interact with have a common way of dealing with life, i.e. most have the attention span of an average humming bird and fail to understand things I’m discussing unless I use small words and speak slowly. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course, it just limits their interests to bright shiny objects and loud noises, filtering out the rest of the world.

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