[ Celebrating our young people – our future – this Youth Day, 2014. ]
Digital Natives – known also as Generation Y (those born between the 1980s and early 2000s) seem to be perpetually and irretrievably plugged into the digital: smartphones, tablets, laptops – you name it. Education, parenting and socialising have been radically transformed by this lightning-paced, highly technologised hyperconnectivity – with benefits and cons alike.
“These kids are different. They study, work, write, and interact with each other in ways that are very different from the ways that you did growing up. They read blogs rather than newspapers. They often meet each other online before they meet in person. Major aspects of their lives—social interactions, friendships, civic activities—are mediated by digital technologies. And they’ve never known any other way of life.” [ www.borndigitalbook.com ]
Dog-eared text-books, dusty chalkboards and furtive little paper notes sent secretly across the classroom have been replaced by acronym-laden Whatsapps sent from one desk-hidden phone to another. Google quickly usurped the school library’s mouldering set of Encyclopedia Britannica as the ultimate source of information. And while the debate about just how beneficial digitalised education actually is, its learning opportunities are too excitingly endless to ignore.
“Studies show that teens’ obsession with texting and tweeting is actually improving literacy rates, because they are spending so much time creating and responding to words.” [ ‘5 Myths About Teens & Technology’ – Huffington Post ]
Twyne proactively supports initiatives who aim to provide South Africa’s youth with the digital technology and know-how to keep South Africa successfully connected and powering forward alongside the rest of the connected world. One such initiative is Project Isizwe which facilitates the roll-out of free Wi-Fi for poor communities within their public spaces.
It is our proud responsibility to actively participate in ensuring South Africa’s youth are – and remain – connected. Let’s make South Africa’s future as bright as it deserves to be.
Born digital. Born free!