Digital Native

Find out what Digital Native means - in online marketing. Click and read more.
Paulina Rysz
Customer Success Team
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What is Digital Native - Definition

Digital Native - is a person growing up in the digital age, surrounded by modern technology such as computers, smartphones and the internet. These individuals tend to be proficient in using various digital devices and social media, influencing how they communicate, learn, and interact with the world. The term was first used by Marc Prensky in 2001 to describe the differences between those born before and after the spread of digital technology.

Digital Native generations

Characteristics of Digital Natives

Several vital characteristics distinguish digital natives:

  1. Proficiency in technology: digital natives treat new technologies creatively and are highly proficient in using various digital devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other gadgets. They are also familiar with multiple software and applications they use daily for learning, work, and entertainment.
  2. Communication preferences - they prefer a fast and condensed form of communication. They are dominated by short text messages, parallel processing of information and communication via images and video, often through apps such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.
  3. Multitasking - digital natives are used to multitaskingmultitasking simultaneously. For example, they may browse the internet, listen to music, and have a text conversation simultaneously.
  4. Educational preferences - raised in a technology-rich environment, Digital Natives often prefer modern, interactive learning methods that use digital tools and resources.
  5. Professional expectations - when entering the job market, they expect fast-paced flexibility, the ability to work remotely, and a dynamic work environment that offers ongoing challenges and opportunities for growth. They also value technologically advanced companies and provide opportunities to use their digital skills.
  6. Changing values and priorities - the generation of digital natives often strongly emphasizes values such as transparency, authenticity, and social responsibility. They expect the brands they identify with to work ethically and sustainably, influencing their purchasing decisions and loyalty to companies.

Table of contest

Impact on the labour market

Digital natives are significantly impacting the labour market, bringing new skills, expectations, and approaches to work. Their impact on the work environment can be seen in several key areas:

  • Technology Adaptation - they are proficient in using technology, which translates into their agility in adapting to new digital tools in the workplace. Their natural familiarity with  can accelerate digitalisation and automation processes in companies, which in turn can increase operational efficiency.
  • Changing Organisational Culture - their approach to work fosters a culture of openness, Collaboration, and innovation. They bring a new dynamic to the labour market that requires companies to rethink their employment and human resource management policies.
  • Communication and Collaboration - their digital language influences how organisations design their workspaces and communication systems, increasing the emphasis on tools that support Collaboration and real-time communication.
  • Innovation and Creativity - their propensity for experimentation, serial processing of information, and adoption of new solutions can be a catalyst for innovation in products, services, or business processes.
  • Management challenges - managing the digital natives generation can challenge traditional management structures. Their expectations of rapid development, digital wisdom, continuous feedback and meaningful work may require organisational leaders to adapt leadership styles, training methods and career development strategies.

Educational and social challenges

The upbringing and education of digital natives challenge traditional educational systems:

Adapting teaching methods: schools and universities need to integrate digital technologies into their curricula to better meet this group's needs.

Developing social skills: there is concern that overuse of new technology may limit the development of direct interpersonal and social skills.

Summary

Digital Natives are becoming an increasingly dominant force in the labour market and society, their influence in shaping future technological, cultural and economic trends will grow. Their natural familiarity with the digital world will shape innovations, business models, and social change, which could lead to significant transformations in many aspects of life.

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