Digital Natives: Tread Lightly When Interacting with Digital Immigrants

The “this will definitely NOT be on the test” series is devoted to those things that fall into the cracks between what college prepares you for and what your employers need you to be prepared for.

Gen Y: your big selling point in the job market is that you are digital natives. You know how to use technology. You can maximize sales through social media! You can grow business with Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest!

Those of us who are digital immigrants (born before all this technology existed, so we’ve had to learn it as it came along) depend on you.

So it really surprises us when you ask us for tech support.

Needing tech support is no big deal–we all need tech support and you’ll never get better support than from the average IT person in any work place. (Need to know who to be friends with in any workplace? Tech support!)

But when you ask a non-tech support digital immigrant to help with technology it causes a mini crisis of confidence:

  • you need help from me? But I’m depending on you to be the tech savvy person here! Is that a mistake? Are you not the digital native I thought you were when I hired you?

You don’t want those thoughts floating through your supervisor’s head. So be strategic when seeking tech support–ask the IT guys or peers who are also digital natives, but not a digital immigrant who already might feel tenuous and relies completely on the belief that you natives have got us covered with all this technology stuff.

This entry was posted in Career Advice, Confessions of a self-centered workaholic, this will NOT be on the test. Bookmark the permalink.

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