For most people living and working in developed parts of the world, it is difficult to remember life Before Digital—the time before computers, Internet, and mobile phones. For those under age 25, it is not just difficult but virtually impossible to remember such a predigital existence. A world full of constantly improving digital technology is the only world this generation -the millennials- has known. They are true digital natives, born into a world of bits and bytes.
It might seem, then, that the use of -and comfort with- digital technology would mark a real divide between the generations. In truth, older generations have embraced this technology as eagerly as their younger counterparts. The true divide lies not in the use of digital technology but in the use of social media. Older generations are leery of social media (SoMe). They say they don’t have time for it.They don’t really get what it’s for. They wonder if it’s all just a fad (and hope it is). They get anxious about the effects of SoMe on young people’s brains, on their social skills, on their health, and on their safety. They perceive cyberstalkers, scammers, and confidence tricksters behind every post and tweet from an unfamiliar source.