Growing Up Digital/How to Adult




The above video is the introduction to a YouTube channel called How to Adult. The channel was started last year and has over 60 videos dedicated to their motto, “Adulthood isn’t something that happens to you, it’s what you make”.  The channel has almost 100,000 subscribers and popular videos include; How to ask someone on a date, do your taxes, ace a job interview, and how to manage living at home after college, plus all types of other things every burgeoning adult should know that your schools or parents didn’t necessarily teach you. The channel, its viewers, and creators all encompass this week’s concept of the Digital Native. This generation learns, teaches, interacts, and creates largely online and can barely remember a time when that was not the first option. Because of that we are innately different than generations before us but the idea that this someone creates this impossible rift between one generation and the next is comical. We are only using different mediums to communicate the same humanistic wants and needs we always have.

The term Digital Native has taken on many lives of its own and can now be seen with one simple Google news search as a divisively drawn line between us and them. Articles like CNN’s What Does it Mean to Be a Digital Native? , opens with the line “The war between natives and immigrants is ending. The natives have won “. What war were in ? Please explain, I was born after 1980, when have I been in this interweb combat you speak of?

There has definitely been a switch towards technology but this scare tactic of come with us or be left behind by the masses is problematic and mostly just silly. In authors Shah and Abraham’s  Digital Natives With A Cause?, they explain that a Digital Native can be a person who has “realized the possibilities and potentials of digital technologies in his/her environment” (Shah and Abraham 21), can’t that be grandma and grandpa face timing? or your Aunt learning how to do a recipe she saw on Pinterest thru youtube? And no one was forced toward that, its just been this natural progression that we have all experienced just some of us sooner than others.

5 thoughts on “Growing Up Digital/How to Adult

  1. sjanetos

    This youtube channel is a literal personification of our class title “coming of age online.” Without the internet, how would we know all the valuable things they teach us on that channel?! I mean, we could feel it out and make our own mistakes and whatever, but with the internet we don’t even need to. It’s sad the more I think about it. The fact that there’s an easily accessible manuel for how to do things eliminates potential for crazy experiences and even learning from our mistakes to an extent.

  2. William Lam

    I love the point you bring up about Youtube tutorials. I’ve never seen “How to Adult” so maybe I should look at how to file taxes this year… Anyways, I think lifestyle channels like them and even beauty gurus like heyclaire and clothesencounters (I watch them because of my girlfriend, just to clear that up) present something that speaks to “coming of age online.” I learned a lot of things from youtube videos that normally parents would teach their children: how to tie a tie, how to cook rice/pasta, how to go about a job interview, just to name a few. However, I don’t really see this as a problem, and maybe in this regard, being a “digital native” isn’t half bad.

  3. frcarbonellm

    This post really had me reflect on how much I rely on the internet when I need to learn something myself. I rely on youtube as my main resource when I need to leant something like changing the oil in my car to formatting Microsoft word to MLA format, and even learning how to cook. Before this I had not heard of the term digital native but I totally understand now. I am proud to say that I am digital native and I use what I know and my resources to encourage others to be digital natives as well. When I am at work at the Apple store I am constantly teaching people how to use their devices. One resource I tell my clients about is youtube and let them know I use it whenever I need to learn something visually. This was a great read and I will be checking out more of their videos, thanks for sharing! – Felipe

  4. prisahdev

    I think channels such as these are pretty nice actually. Living far from my parents and sometimes not being able to understand their instructions over the phone, it is easier to look up a youtube video on how to cook something or do something. The internet in this sense, I feel is a positive influence for our generation and helps us discover and learn things. Of course this also adds into the point that we are visual learners but at the same time, I think for anyone it is so much easier to watch a video of someone doing something then to read confusing instructions.

  5. bhesslegrave

    It’s interesting that you bring up that there is no pressuring force at play. In some ways, i can see how the digital native experiences the “natural progression” of technology. But I would consider here the social construction of technology theory. In this theoretical framework, maybe we impose underlying pressures to adapt to technology. For example, while on one hand we might reprimand digital natives for being addicted to their iPhones, we might just as equally deem someone “out of touch” or “not with it” if they don’t interact with tech.

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