Valid perspective. Developing skills and competencies concerning social media is perhaps the iceberg below all the Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0 hype. Assumptions are made regarding digital strangers / immigrants / natives without nearly enough focus on the literacy aspects which can have tremendous impact on how well any of those groupings is able to leverage their perceived advantage (or overcome their perceived disadvantage):
According to a clear-eyed study just released by the British Library, the “Google generation” isn't actually composed of plugged-in child geniuses after all. Not only do children born since 1993 – the year the Web was invented – fail to conform to their stereotypes, but the jittery research habits that are often attributed to them are showing up across the entire demographic spectrum.
Are kids today smarter than previous generations? That's nonesense. My generation got there first, says Ivor Tossell
“Digital literacies and information literacies do not go hand in hand,” the report says. “A careful look at the literature over the past 25 years finds no improvement (or deterioration) in young people's information skills.”
In other words, the fact someone might be at home on the Web doesn't necessarily give them the skills they need to wring knowledge from it. For one thing, getting the most out of Google requires language and processing skills that young kids are often still working on.
Everyone, from kids to academics to retirees, is showing what the report calls “horizontal, bouncing, checking, viewing” behaviour – the art of flitting across huge numbers of Web pages, spending little time on each before moving on to the next.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that having Google as a birthright doesn't give rise to a generation of superb information analysts. Technology changes behaviour, but when presented with a new technology, people will still behave within the framework of their abilities and desires.