Marc Prensky's "digital native" theory, that there is a a distinct shift in technological understanding for those born circa 1970(ish), is something I always think about whenever some jackass from Best Buy describes a computer as "something your mom can use!" I often end up informing them rather indelicately that my mom was typesetting shit by command line before they could control their own bowels. This study from the Open University ends up blowing up the idea altogether.
It shows that while those differences exist, they are not lined up on each side of any kind of well-defined discontinuity. The change is gradual, age group to age group. The researchers regard their results as confirming those who have doubted the existence of a coherent ‘net generation’.
So don't be forcing your mom's computer skills on everyone else, Geek Squad guy.
(via Kariann Goldschmitt)