How to Blog Better While Being a Digital Immigrant

By: | February 16, 2016 | Tags: , | 48 comments

Digital Immigrants have trouble using computersAre you a digital immigrant?

The digital native-immigrant concept explains that people are actually defined by the technology they are familiar with.

Are you a digital native?

If yes, consider yourself fortunate.

Digital natives are people born after the widespread adoption of technology and grew up using computers, the Internet, and mobile devices.

Today’s guest post was written by a digital immigrant, Huffington Post contributor Leslie Handler, who explains the frustrations digital immigrants have especially when they are bloggers.

According to Techopedia,

A digital immigrant is an individual who was born before the widespread adoption of digital technology. The term digital immigrant may also apply to individuals who were born after the spread of digital technology and who were not exposed to it at an early age. Digital immigrants are the opposite of digital natives, who have been interacting with technology from childhood.

Leslie, take it away–

It’s a Generational Thing

(A.K.A. Digital Immigrants Have it Rough)

I’ve looked into my future and it’s not a pretty sight.

Generation 1:

I can fondly remember my Grandmother trying to use modern technology. When answering machines first came out and she would try to leave me a message, she would sign the message. No really. She would talk into the phone stating the purpose of her call. When she was done, she would say one word, “Grandma,” as if you’d had no idea who had been talking for the last two-minute message. To her, it was like signing a card. We used to laugh, both at her and with her over her card signing phone messages.

Generation 2:

Skip down one generation to my mom. She’s had a microwave since 1976 but she still takes a bag of frozen vegetables and puts them in a pot of water to boil on the stove. She has voicemail and she’s armed with a cell phone, but I can’t quite grasp why she bothers. She hasn’t quite mastered either. She never has the phone with her when she needs it, and if she does, it isn’t charged. She gives her cell number to her friends and to her doctors so of course, they call her on it. When she does have it with her and it’s charged, she doesn’t hear it ring as it is buried deep down into the hallows of her purse. If she does hear it ring, she can’t answer it fast enough and she misses the call anyway. Then she doesn’t understand how to check her messages. So now the doctor’s office called to reschedule her appointment, and she never got the message. Then she shows up for the appointment only to be disappointed. It’s like an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” You can’t tell if she’s in the pre-technology world or in the present. And don’t get me started on the computer.

For her birthday this year, we decided to get her a smart phone. This was my brilliant idea. I thought it would make her life easier. Instead of trying to scroll through a directory to find her contact names, instead of trying to figure out how to send an e-mail, and instead of trying to remember a password to check her voicemail messages, all she had to do is push one button to talk to Siri, and she’d be in business. Little did I realize that even after I programmed in all her contact’s names, phone numbers, and e-mails, that she would still have to be capable of pushing the one button to use Siri. God help us if the correct screen is not displayed and she has to deal with any other button/app. She can’t quite grasp the fact that apps don’t work like buttons, you can’t “push” them to make them work. I’ve tried to define a “tap” vs. a “push” for her, but all was completely lost when I had forgotten all about the swoosh to enter a previously resting phone. Insert smile here to prevent utter frustration.

Generation 3:

Then there’s me. When computers first came out, I’d watch my toddlers climb up on a chair and tap and click until their little hearts were content. I thought that if they could do it, well so could I. So I sat down and taught myself the basics. When cell phones became the norm, I was one of the first to get rid of our land line. I frequently prefer e-mail’s and texts to phone calls, and although I did get a little help from my daughter setting it up, I’m even a blogger. But I seem to be approaching my future more quickly lately. I can hear the giggles of my daughters as I try to keep up. They laugh at me when I accidentally send a group message when it’s meant for only one, and they laugh at me when I think that tweeting is for birds and pinning is for seamstresses.

But I’m ok with my future as I try and will eventually fail to keep up. It’s a time-honored tradition created by the amazing women of my family. I will happily pass it on to my girls. Besides, eventually, they’ll be my age and their children will be laughing at them. Laugh away my beautiful girls because if I can make you and any of my future grandchildren laugh, then I’ve truly accomplished something for the ages.

So to all you “older” bloggers out there who get frustrated when trying to learn how to join a blog party, how to get your computer to remember your password so you don’t have to, or how to network with the younger generation, I say kudos because they didn’t go to school with slide rules and typewriters. Raise your heads high because you did something uncomfortable. You learned something new, and sharing your messages on your blog posts, can only make us all just that much wiser.

by Leslie Handler

Admin Blogger’s Commentary:

Bloggers especially feel the stress trying to keep up with the technology needed to be successful bloggers.

Leslie did a great job. She described the frustrations that so many people feel trying to keep up with changing technology. Her three-generation approach really made her point.

I agree with Leslie’s answer to how to blog better if you are a digital immigrant– blog with pride.

Please share, so other digital immigrants know they are not alone with the frustrations of keeping up with technological changes especially while trying to blog.

After commenting, show Leslie some blog live and visit her blog LeslieGoesBoom.com.

If you are interested in guest posting, MostlyBlogging is looking for guest authors.

Had you heard of the concept of digital native versus digital immigrant? Which group do you identify with? Are you a digital native or a digital immigrant? If you are a digital immigrant, do you find trying to keep up with changing technology difficult? I look forward to your views.

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  1. Pingback: I am are you?/2/16/2016 – Annette's place
  2. Carolann at 6:52 am

    I’m right there with you. I remember when I got my first computer. I was in a state of shock and awe for quite some time…I’ve been transformed ever since that day.

  3. Carol at 2:23 am

    I am a digital immigrant all the way..so pleased with myself today( with Hugh’s help) hugh’s Views and News… I can do pingbacks! Yehhhhh on another note my digital native of a son does ask moi how do I do this? So I rest my case 😉 Maybe not such a digital native after all 😉

  4. Roz Warren at 7:17 am

    I was spoiled rotten because my son, a digital native, did everything computer-related for me. For years. And then… he grew up and moved to California. Now I’m on my own and struggling to learn the stuff that he seemed to know by nature. It’s not easy. Thanks for the encouragement.

  5. Terri Webster Schrandt at 6:14 pm

    Great article and great to laugh at ourselves! For a while, I thought I had the power to blow up the world if I pressed the wrong button on my computer. I think my hubby still thinks that can happen. At work, I would ask the digital natives, my Millennial staff, to help me with the computer. As much as I “get” things now, they are much more intuitive about technology. *sigh*

  6. John Doe at 9:57 pm

    It is hard to keep up with technology but with all the new things you introduce to your blogging community you help us stay current. Leslie did a really nice job with her 3 generation comparison. It was very understandable.

  7. Holly at 9:39 am

    I hate to be pigeonholed. Maybe that comes from being on the cusp of two generations as defined by marketing professionals and resenting all the stereotypes. Maybe my reaction to this one comes from being born to a dad who learned about computers in the Air Force, before I was born, so they seemed pretty natural to me – even if the first ones I hung out with were too big to fit in our living room. We had personal computers (well, okay, smallish mainframes – old PDP-9s, I think – at my middle school. I used the first TRS-80 and can remember the Heathkit. I used Compuserve in 1981 to chat with people all over the world, and worked with PCs and online communities as a moderator from 1989 on. The “digital native” definition seems overly narrow, to me, and I’m probably at least as comfortable with digital tech as either of my kids are. They come to me for advice and how-to. I guess it’s useful to generalize, but I’m also from a generation that tried to break stereotypes – and apparently failed dismally.
    Holly recently posted…Targeted Advertising: Creepy & Stalkerish, or Wow, You Get Me!?My Profile

  8. Leanne at 9:06 pm

    I remember our first word processor and wondering why it would be any better than our electric typewriter. So glad I had a husband who tried new things! I remember using a mouse for the first time and trying to get that little arrow to go where it was supposed to. I’m a big fan of laptops and not a big user of my phone – so I haven’t completely adapted to technology – but I’m pretty happy with where I’m at.

    • Janice Wald at 9:11 pm

      I almost fell over when my students no longer knew what a floppy disk was. Now, I’m not sure if anyone knows. LOL Leslie’s post gave many of us an opportunity to have fun reminiscing.
      Thanks for writing.
      Janice

  9. Julie at 2:08 am

    I’d never heard this terminology but it does express it really well. I’m trying so hard to keep up but my kids just seem to intuitively know what they are doing with technology!
    Reading some of your comments about black screens and green letters just put me in mine of something that happened the other day.
    At home with my youngest, 16, who wanted to watch an old film. I suggested Jumping Jack Flash, immediately he is what’s apping his older sister who is away at uni, asking if it’s any good (I’m in the room!) She replies, “Whoopi Goldberg and really old computers” ! I feel old!

  10. Michelle Saunderson at 2:27 pm

    I am right there with you. Everything has a learning curve. I still haven’t completely figured out pinterest. Thank God for google and Yahoo answers or I would never get anything done. But, you know what? Back in the stone age, I took a typing course. My kids who are late teens are amazed that Mom can type way better and faster than them. So, at least I have one advantage on them! lol

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