Saturday, April 28, 2012

Post-digital at my house

As I get ready for the #NextBerlin conference and consider the theme of the event, "the post-digital world" -- I have been asking myself, "what's really post-digital in my house?"  After a few days, I have narrowed it down to one obvious thing: my sixteen-year-old son.

Born in the year the Internet went commercial and ubiquitous, this kid has never known a pre-digital world and it shows.

If I want to reach him -- forget email or phone (and especially voice mail).  Those are media used my old folks who want to nag, bother, or punish him.   He's not interested.   If I tell him weeks after the fact that I emailed him something important to read, he scrunches up his face as if to say, "Why would you send me email and why would you think I would ever READ it?!"

My post-digital boy travels light -- his devices are mobile -- and his media starts with text (or SMS) and ends with Facebook.

He has newly downloaded iTunes constantly playing in his ears or in our house, discovered via Pandora or Grooveshark.  He also discovers a lot of his favorite music on YouTube videos of skateboarding, rock climbing or other extreme sports.

He wouldn't know what I was talking about if I said "post-digital" because he takes digital for granted.  It doesn't describe something modern or futuristic.  It's the default for his world.