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back to article Young? Been online five years? Congrats, you are the ELITE MINORITY

It's a truism that today's young people are born into a world of computers, video games, and the internet, and are therefore much more comfortable with technology than their elders are. But the actual number of so-called digital natives worldwide may still be smaller than you think. According to a report released on Monday by …

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Anonymous Coward

Digital Nativeland

The citizenship requirements should probably exclude those whose 5 years online amounts exclusively to "liking brands and celebrities on Facebook".

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Coat

Re: Digital Nativeland

I like this comment.

Oh, hang on...

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Bah youngsters

So being able to like Justin Beiber using only your thumbs ranks you as computer literate - while us old farts who were programming machine code at their age.

Of course if they make any breakthroughs in computers that don't need to understand logic, algebra, memory, networking, storage, filesystems, databases etc then the new kids might have a distinct advantage.

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Gimp

El Reg Elite Minority

I have been signed up to El Reg for just a little more than 5 years... Does that make me an Elite Vulture ?

I have also been using the web for almost 20 years...... Does that make me an Elite Web Vulture ?

Some of these studies/reports make me weep. What's next, you have been driving for 5 years, you are the equivalant of Formula One pilot and you deserve medals....

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Re: El Reg Elite Minority

What's next, you have been driving for 5 years, you are the equivalant of Formula One pilot and you deserve medals....

Actually, there used to be a body called something like the Company of Vintage Motorists. You could buy a V-shaped badge for the radiator grille (remember them?) of your car, and an insert on the badge carried the number of years that you had been driving. Older Reg readers will remember them.

Me:

- 39.5 years since I passed my driving test

- 38.5 years using computers

- about 20 years using the Web

- nearly 20 years with the Demon ISP - must move soon!

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Re: El Reg Elite Minority

I had my 20th Internet anniversary this year.

Ahhh installing 16550 cards with jumper pins for manual IRQ configs, Trumpet Winsock, RWIN tweaking, static IP address for a home user. Direct Connection ISP, Netscape V1.0 fitting on a single floppy.

Having an email address but no one else you knew back then did.

Dad going bonkers over the phone bill....

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hey, but they can always GOOGLE that boring stuf-__OOOH, LOOK AT THE KITTY!___

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Old man of the Internet

Damn kids get off my virtual lawn!

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Happy

Re: Old man of the Internet

http://chalkboardmanifesto.com/index.php?comicNum=582

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FIVE years?

I must be practically a digital grandfather.

Or maybe a digital corpse.

I was around before The Browser Wars, before Google, before Web2.0, before electricity, etc...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FIVE years?

Bet I know someone who has been on t' interwebs longer than you. He practically invented it (or so he likes, repeatedly, telling us).

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WTF?

Re: FIVE years?

Why've what I was thinking, if 5 years makes you elite wtf does that make me?

Next year will be my 20th with this new thing called the web. Hell I had already had email in one form or another for 10 years by that point!

Anyone remember Prestel or FidoNet?

Nb: 2nd attempt to post due to a common first world problem of losing 3g on the train, something these youngsters wouldn't know, a time before mobiles.

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Re: FIVE years?

>Why've what I was thinking, if 5 years makes you elite wtf does that make me?

>Next year will be my 20th with this new thing called the web. Hell I had already had

>email in one form or another for 10 years by that point!

Nice start, kid.

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Re: FIVE years?

"I must be practically a digital grandfather."

And I'm older than you by (IIRC) about five years, whippersnapper!

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Re: FIVE years?

> Hell I had already had email in one form or another for 10 years by that point!

Eeee, them 'twere the days.

When you could tell a person's true status by the number of hops they were from ucbvax

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FIVE years?

Nice start, kid.

These spolied kids and their fancy networks. Back in my day, we didn't have any of these fancy inter-networking cables... we had to carry our packets by hand. Uphill, in the snow, and compute the checksums by hand before we died of hypothermia.

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Re: FIVE years?

Yep, I was on Prestel and Micronet back in 1984 with my Spectrum and trust Prism VTX5000 modem (1200/75 baud).

We didn't have emails back then but MBX's.

I think my first download was "Fireview", an alternative to the in-built Viewdata software in the modem.

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Trollface

Re: FIVE years?

"These spolied kids and their fancy networks. Back in my day, we didn't have any of these fancy inter-networking cables... we had to carry our packets by hand. Uphill, in the snow, and compute the checksums by hand before we died of hypothermia."

Computing a checksum? We would have killed to only have to compute a checksum! We had to carry our packets by hand, uphill both ways, in the snow, computer the checksum AND read out the entire packet in binary. And if we got even one number wrong we would wish we had died of hyperthermia because our Dad would murder us!

But you tell kids that these days and they just dont believe you...

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The "experience" experience

> five or more years' experience using the internet

That seems to be to be measuring the wrong thing.

A child who's spent the past 5 years goofing around on Facebook and Twitter is incomparable to one who started using a computer at age 13 and now runs a successful web business. Just as a brit who's been living in Spain for 5 years, red-nosed from the cheap booze, too much sunshine and days spent reading the Daily Mail in a bar all day is no match for one who has spent the same duration in the country and is fluent in the language and is a fully functioning member of the local society.

When you start looking at skill-level or achievements, duration or time spent is misleading. It's results that count.

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Re: The "experience" experience

"It's results that count."

Except when they come in a Powerpoint presentation.

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They say youth is wasted on the young... yet they seem to be the ones with lives outside of the 'realm of the spooks wet dreams'.

Who wants to tell the NSA/GCHQ that they've been wasting their time? Rebellion/terrorism being very much an activity of the young and naive.

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Anonymous Coward

"Rebellion/terrorism being very much an activity of the young and naive."

In my experience the current young generation have been raised to be fearful, conservative, and naive. They only want what is fashionable - no matter how poor the quality. Any recklessness is down to a lack of responsibility and foresight - but it certainly isn't "rebellion" with any cause. The innovation still seems to come from the people who were innovative in the 1960s.

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Meh

Sooo what does that make me?

I've been online since the days of dial-up (Freeserve anyone? and still has an email address tided to it, albeit at my parents house) and had a compy since I was 5 or 6 ( a venerable VIC20) and I'm still not in my 30's yet. What of us?!

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Let me get this straight...people in countries with less money have less internet? How can this be true? Surely everyone has internet?

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Angel

There's nothing special about being a digital native. You're eligible purely by being born after a certain time.

The REAL people are those who evolve and grow with the world. Born in a world before the Internet or even computers (depends on the pedantic definition of computer and Internet). These are the people who are willing to question their religion, challenge convention and move the world forward.

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"Born in a world before the Internet"

Yes, I was born before the Internet - just less than a year before - in the late 1960s. Child of the summer of love (and probably dodgy contraception), and all that.

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Anonymous Coward

Hello son. I lost my Virginity during the Summer of Love and Peace (not forgetting the odd Anti-Vietnam riot or two) No Mr GCHQ/NSA, I didn't take part in it. I was too busy getting stoned down on my cousins Farm in Dorset. Right on Man!

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Old tech

The cool kids are on apps and smartphonez, innit?

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Anonymous Coward

Poll - surviving pioneers.

There appear to be some venerable old-timers commenting. Just as a matter of interest - when did El Reg readers start using computing as a hobby or career?

My electronics hobby started with building a transistor radio kit in 1961 - after my father gave up and proved the advert's claim that "a child can do it".

My career in the computer industry started in 1966. I still think of myself as a newbie as some of my industry mentors are probably still alive.

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I'm fourty-(cough!) and have been online sporadically since 1985 and continuously since 1987.

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Anonymous Coward

TBL

Lots of commentards here trying to out old each other. I'm expecting Tim Berners-Lee to pitch up in a minute and pwn the lot of you!

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Happy

Re: TBL

"I'm expecting Tim Berners-Lee to pitch up in a minute and pwn the lot of you!"

Actually TBL is younger than me and started programming later. I'm not sure he had access to Arpanet like I did either.

The icon is the nearest thing to a smug grin that ElReg offers.

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I was talking about this the other day. My flat back in 2001 didn't (shock!) have internet (horror!) because it was too expensive to pay the Belgian telco, and I had it at work anyway. Even then I missed the ability to go online at home, which I'd had for year. Now I'd put the internet behind power, sewage and water - but well ahead of landline and TV in my list of services. So much so that the last time I moved, and had to wait a whole week for Broadband, I got a MiFi from 3 to tide me over.

The first symptom of being an internetaholic is denying that you're an internetaholic.

The second symptom of being an internetaholic is looking online for the symptoms of internetaholicism.

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