From Digital Natives to Digital Captives: How the Internet Changed Gen Z

NEW YORK - Oct. 20, 2023 - PRLog -- Gen Z research and consulting firm dcdx has released a new research report on Generation Z.
From Digital Natives to Digital Captives unveils a new lens into Gen Z, rethinking the name "digital native" to help people better understand Gen Z's relationship with social media and technology.

Not too long ago, the internet was a novelty. Little did we think about what it would mean for a generation to be born alongside it - and even less about what it would mean to grow up with its rapid change.

This is Gen Z — or the first generation to be named 'digital natives,' a term coined in 2001 to describe the generation of people who grew up in the digital age. This term is typically associated with Gen Z to highlight the positive aspects of growing up 'plugged in.' Exposure to digital tools, devices, and platforms is supposed to make Gen Z more savvy and literate in digital spaces than older generations.

These natives were defined in contrast to 'digital immigrants', or millennials, whose usage of technology and the internet was that of late bloomers needing to adapt to the world around them.

Adaptation was never a choice: it was a mandate. A mandate to live and move through our digital world seamlessly, or risk becoming inefficient, disconnected from others, and ultimately obsolete.

Yet the narrative portrayed by 'digital native' is not just incomplete - it is misleading. Being more 'tech savvy' does not help us understand what it truly meant for a generation to grow up in parallel with these rapid technological changes, with unprecedented access to virtual worlds, and overloaded and overstimulated with content.

To paint this picture of what it means to be a 'digital native', we must look at how Gen Z got here, how they feel about it, and how they are navigating this 'nativity' today.

We must listen to the voices of Generation Z to tell this story - an untold story - the right way.

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