October 15, 2021

Digital Natives and Content

digital-nativesDigital natives will read your content, well at least, in part. They are used to getting information online. So much in fact, that’s practically the only way they consume news, entertainment and sports.

When constructing a new site, you’ll have to consider how digital natives will see it. That is structuring your site to meet expectations of digital natives which happen upon it or are referred to it. And that translates into content which speaks not only to digital natives but to digital immigrants. Bridging that divide is akin to those who lived and fought through WWII and the baby boom generation that followed. The big challenge is not so much the nomenclature but the technological expectations digital natives have and meeting their penchant for quick-fix information. 

Digital Natives Definition

digital native or technology native is a person who has grown up living with and experiencing technology; including the Internet, cellular phones, GPS, MP3 players, and computers, as a common form of entertainment, education and communication. Technology natives have not experienced things like changing television channels with a dial or rotary phones. Most are aware but have not used devices such as typewriters, vinyl records and floppy disks.

[The] Class of 2016 doesn’t use radios or watch TVs, and sees women as leaders. —Washington Post

Digital immigrants, on the other hand, are those individuals who have migrated into technology. Also called, technology immigrants, these people have witnessed first-hand technological innovations which digital natives have always known to exist.

Writing for Digital Natives

Creating content for digital natives is a challenge in the sense they are used to certain formats. Media typically accompanies most of what digital natives consume, be it news, sports, gaming, entertainment or social networking. Insofar as this is concerned, here are some tips for producing copy which will cater to digital natives:

  1. Make the point straight-away. Get to the meat of it early in the going, but sprinkle breadcrumbs to lead them further along in the text.
  2. Digital natives aren’t used to seeing text without images or video. So, including these elements are necessary to keep digital natives engaged.
  3. Use current events for analogies. Digital natives relate more to reality programming. Using metaphors and similes which incorporate those situations and characters to best get a point across.
  4. Integrate social media when possible as digital natives are accustomed to these platforms.
  5. Build sites that are keyword, content-rich and which are responsive as digital natives tend to use smart phones and tablets more than desktop computers
 In addition, digital natives are used to digital interaction. So make your content inviting and encourage commenting and sharing.

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