Most notable, however, is the way the digital era has transformed how people live their lives and relate to one another and to the world around them. Some older people were there at the start, and these “Digital Settlers”—though not native to the digital environment, because they grew up in an analog-only world—have helped to shape its contours. These older people are online, too, and often quite sophisticated in their use of these technologies, but they also continue to rely heavily on traditional, analog forms of interaction. Others less familiar with this environment, “Digital Immigrants,” learned how to e-mail and use social networks late in life. You know them by the lame jokes and warnings about urban myths that they still forward to large cc: lists. Those who were born digital don’t remember a world in which letters were printed and sent, much less handwritten, or where people met up at formal dances rather than on Facebook. The changing nature of human relationships is second nature to some, and learned behavior to others.
In “Born Digital”, John Palfrey, Urs Gasser