How to Blog Better While Being a Digital Immigrant

By: | February 16, 2016 | Tags: ,

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.

Related Posts

30  Tools You Need to Create a Successful Blog 

6 Ways You Can Save Time Blogging, Technology You Should Know

How to Have a Popular Blog and Should You (Deals with other blogging frustrations)

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

    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.

    • Leslie

      I was afraid if I touched it, I would break it. Thanks for responding carol ann

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Carolann,
      Thanks for writing. Your comment made me remember getting my first computer. I was always playing games on it.
      Janice

  3. LuAnn Braley

    Holy Neanderthal, Batman! I must be a digital caveman then. :p Hubby and I met online when top speed was 286 and RPGs were amber or green text on a black screen. No graphics or videos.

    • Leslie

      Hey Lu Ann, I can beat u. I remember punch cards. Kudos to u for learning the ropes.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi LuAnn,
      Great to hear from you! Holy Neanderthal Batman– too funny! I love how Leslie’s post is making us reminisce about our experiences with our first computers. Thanks for writing. I enjoyed your comment.
      Janice

  4. Lee MacArthur

    I propose there are also digital settlers. People who adopt so well its almost as if they were born to it. To me immigrants are never fully comfortable with technology but settlers are.

    • Leslie

      I agree. Settlers is a great term! They’ve just never known life any other way.

    • Janice Wald

      HI Lee,
      Nice to hear from you. I agree. “Immigrants” does not take into account different comfort levels with technology once people are exposed to it. “Settlers” is a great term to differentiate.
      Janice

    • Janice Wald

      HI Collegeography,
      How great to have you a member of our community! Thanks for the follow and for reading my guest authors post and writing us.
      Janice

  5. Mona AlvaradoFrazier

    This is the first time I’ve heard of digital immigrants; I guess I am one and my three kids are natives. This was such a good post I went over to visit Leslie Handler’s post she’s very funny. I loved her byline “I’ve fallen and I can get up,” and her self-described label: a late bloomer boomer.

    • Leslie

      Thanks for your kind comments Mona. I’m so happy to have a new fan! You can click to follow me on my site and receive emails when new posts are available. Happy reading!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Mona,
      I agree, Leslie is a funny writer. How exciting to have a Huffington Post contributor guest posting for us. Thanks for showing her some blog love and checking out her site.
      Janice

  6. Carol

    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 😉

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Carol,
      Thanks for writing. The terms seem to imply that those growing up with computers are more comfortable with them. Perhaps your son is an exception, LOL.
      Janice

  7. Roz Warren

    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.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Roz,
      The situation was the same in my house. My daughters did everything computer related for me. Now, they are at college, so I fend for myself, ask my husband, or Google it. Thanks for writing.
      Janice

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Roz,
      I wanted you to know I tried to return the “blog love” and visit your site. I clicked on the article about Superwoman, but I ended up in the New York Times website. I thought your article was funny and quite true. How exciting to write for the New York Times! Congratulations!
      Janice

  8. Terri Webster Schrandt

    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*

    • Leslie Handler

      thank goodness those young Millennials are here to help. Be kind to them. One day, they’ll be wiping our “you know whats.” thanks for reading Terri.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Terri,
      My students are far more knowledgeable about technology than I am. I try to explain how to do things on the computer, and they already know all the shortcuts, and they are only 12-years-old! I can totally relate. Thanks for writing.
      Janice

  9. John Doe

    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.

    • Leslie Handler

      Thanks Mr. Doe. The mostly blogging folks are awesome. I’m honored to be a part of this community. Glad I could make it understandable for you.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi John,
      I agree Leslie did a great job. Her 3-generational approach was funny and did make her point crystal clear.
      Janice

    • Leslie Handler

      Thanks so much for reading Charlie. More at lesliegoesboom.com. Let me know if you come by to visit. I’d love to hear from you.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Charlie Zero,
      High praise coming from you. I just came from your site where I read another one of your powerful poems. You have pretty powerful perspectives yourself. Thanks for writing. I’m glad you enjoyed my guest author’s article.
      Janice

  10. Holly

    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.

    • Leslie Handler

      Yes Holly. I’d never heard of digital natives either before Janice just posted this. But I do know that the kids keep learning more and I keep trying to keep up. Yea for you being ahead of the game!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Holly,
      I agree with Leslie’s comment. How great you are ahead of the game. I have to wonder if you are the exception. I think Leslie and I are probably the rule.
      Those big computers you described– I’ve only seen them in pictures. I learned more about you from this comment. Thanks for writing.
      Janice

  11. Leanne

    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

      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

  12. Mansi Padhya

    Great article… Very interesting thoughts! You have great perspectives…..

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Mansi,
      Thank you so much for the kind words. I have articles on my site all the time like this. If you enjoyed, I’d love to encourage you to subscribe.
      Janice

    • Janice Wald

      Hi again Mansi,
      I wanted you to know I visited your site too, but when I commented and clicked “Sign in with Facebook,” nothing happened. I wanted you to know I did try to return the “blog love.”
      Janice

  13. Julie

    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!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Julie,
      Thanks for writing. Your comment, and many of the others’, are just too funny. I think we all had a good time this week laughing at our foibles when it comes to technology in contrast to the younger generation.
      They say, “Age brings wisdom.” Not when it comes to technology, apparently!
      Janice

  14. Michelle Saunderson

    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

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Michelle,
      Nice to meet you. Thank you for writing me.
      1. Pinterest is my favorite social media to write about. Since you said you haven’t completely figured it out, I brought you a link to all my Pinterest articles.
      https://mostlyblogging.com/?s=pinterest
      Perhaps you’ll find them helpful.
      2. I am also a pretty quick typist. I also used a typewriter in the Stone Age. My students have never seen one! I don’t know how I got so fast. I am always rushing; maybe that’s why I sped up, LOL. Nice to meet you and reminisce over old times.
      Janice

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  16. Sarah Chrish

    Hey, It’s very interesting especially the way you presented. Great..

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