“Us” and “Them”; Equity Among Natives

I will be analyzing Danah Boyd’s “Literacy: Are Today’s Youth Digital Natives?” and Jurgen Habermas’s “The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article”. In Danah Boyd’s “Literacy: Are Today’s Youth Digital Natives?” a digital native is a person who grew up in a world where internet already exist, in other words digital natives are kids and digital immigrants a people that were not born during the “tech” time, or in other words adults or “old people”. Teens grew up with the internet and technology so many adults assume that that youth automatically understand and can comprehend new technology. John Perry Barlow said that “adults should be afraid of fear children’s supposedly natural-born knowledge” and Douglas Rushkaff says that “children should be recognized for their ingenuity”. This document is all about the youth being “native” to the digital language of computers, video games and the internet, it also states that native immigrants become fascinated by many aspects of the new technology and adapt to it. This document also explains that not all the youth know how to use the new technology, few teens have basic understanding of how the computer system they use actually works. It also talks about two specific search engines, Google and Wikipedia. Google is a monetized through advertising and it is changed by your preference. Wikipedia is a crowd sourced encyclopedia with moderators, in other words it can be edited but not as easy as you think, most teachers and parents say Wikipedia is unreliable because it can be edited but in order for it to be edited you have a give a reason why.

Jurgen Habermas’s “The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article” is about the access of the internet and how it is given to all citizens. It says “information access’s inequalities and media literacy compromise the representations of the virtual sphere.” Some people do not have access without a concrete commitment to universal access at affordable rates, the internet merely harbors the illusion of “openness.”” This document also talks about how “when there is no face-to-face action were less likely to see the impact and social value of our words.” “Most information online is fragmented, our political system suffers from a lack of citizen involvement and the internet technology may offer new tools for connecting, motivating, and organizing dissent but the cannot single-handedly transform political culture.”

Tying these two documents together is the “Literacy: Are Today’s Youth Digital Natives?” is talking about how the youth is suppose to be feared for their natural born knowledge of new technology and that they are native to it and adults are immigrants because they weren’t born in the “tech age” but they adapt to it and the article “The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article” is talking about how everybody does not have the access to the internet, so my question is how can somebody be native to something that they do not have access to? The digital natives article kind of proves the public sphere article wrong because not all teens are “hip” to the new technology and not all adults are immigrants to the new technology, that article is only looking at the people that have access to the new technology.


Boyd, Danah. “Digital Natives.pdf.” Google Docs. It’s Complicated, 15 Feb. 2017. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.


Habermas, Jurgen, Sara Lennox, and Frank Lennox. “Habermas_Public Sphere.pdf.” Google Docs. New German Critique, 15 Feb. 2017. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.
Copy & paste citation