Carp magazine, a Dutch magazine, is running an article on the digital generation gap and if it really exist. It has interviewed a quite large group of people on what techniques and systems they use and divided them into age groups. This way they tried to identify which age group can be identified with what kind of technique.
I personally think there is a gap but I do not think it will fit into the groups carp has interviewed. It is more divided between the users and not users. I believe there is a gap in the way people use technology now a days but I have the strong feeling that people who where there at the beginning of the internet are quite as heavy users as the people who started to ride the wave on a later moment. I even think the people who where in using the internet in the first days are heavier users than the new users.
It is true, maybe the new users are viewing the internet more as a tool and not as a network and system but the new users are mostly using only the commercial and hyped systems on the internet. They tend to forget about the old systems that are still there. And maybe some of the new systems out there today are better but not more reliable in my opinion.
It is nice that you can use skype and it is nice you can make social networks using all kinds of websites and it will indeed make your life more easy in some ways. It also makes your life more complicated in a lot of other ways. People getting connected today will only learn about the new systems that are out there and not the new ones. That is to say if they are normal users, if you are more than normally interested you will most likely be learning about a lot more. Take a group of people who are now using the internet for about two years and ask them about telnet, ssh, ftp, or even ask them about TCP/IP and what it is. I think most of them will not be able to give you a answer.
They simply use the upper surface of the internet as a tool and forget about how it is working and about all the things below the surface that can make your life even more fun.
Isn’t it a shame?