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Grown Up Digital

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Grown Up Digital

How the Net Generation Is Changing Your World


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

How computers shaped the kids who grew up with them: decoding the impact of today’s tech-savvy “Net Generation”

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


In 1997, Don Tapscott wrote Growing Up Digital, an extensively researched inquiry into how growing up immersed in digital technology changed a generation. Now, he returns to this question, exploring what has happened as that generation and its technology have matured. Tapscott addresses numerous concerns and delves into accusations commonly voiced about this “New Generation.” He generally finds that the insults are without merit. In fact, he is almost a cheerleader for the digital generation (or “Net Gen,” as he calls it). The book reads quickly, especially considering that it is based on a $4 million, multiyear research project including nearly 10,000 interviews. Where Tapscott shows his supportive research, he is highly persuasive. When he wanders into personal positions, his reasoning is less compelling. getAbstract suggests his comprehensive report to a wide range of readers: all marketers and futurists, anyone interested in cyber-culture and any human resources professionals who wonder how to integrate Net Gen into the workforce.


Who Are the “Net Geners”?

You may have heard that members of the “Net Generation” (or “Net Gen”) are selfishly addicted to their computers, which have rotted their brains, destroyed their social skills, and left them violent and immature. This generation is definitely different from earlier generations, but how could it not be? It’s the first generation to grow up taking digital technology for granted. Net Geners assume continual, constant access to computers, the Internet and each other, via phone, text or some other still-emerging technology. Those factors have changed how Net Geners act and even how their brains function in some areas. However, many of these changes are positive.

For context, start with Net Gen’s place in history as the latest in a series of generations with distinct identities. The introduction of television defined the technological tone of the baby boom (born 1946 to 1964). The “baby bust,” or Generation X, (born 1965 to 1976) is a much smaller cohort. Though its members are quite educated and regularly use advanced communication technology, they didn’t grow up with computers, and many feel somewhat excluded from the central cultural debate. ...

About the Author

Don Tapscott has written or co-written 11 books, including Growing Up Digital, Paradigm Shift and Wikinomics.

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    J. W. 1 decade ago
    Very much enjoyed the read. Helps to focus on the many positive aspects of the unstopable digital revolution, and not to be terrorised by the downside which of course exists too.
    Helped me to relax with our liberal approach with our children in that domain - we were not so wrong after all, whew!
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      1 decade ago
      A very good read. You're absolutely right Joerg.
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      1 decade ago
      thanks Joerg for input, totally agree!
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    A. J. 1 decade ago
    excellent for all managers to read.