If you're not a digital native, you've gotta be a digital immigrant.

I do social media for a living. It's my passion, and in many ways, this is a dream job. I am working hard to bring a truly robust social culture to a company with great values. Good vibes all around, right?

I wish it were so simple.

Articles like the one linked below are alarmist. What's worse is that they're being published by highly reputable sources (at least, many of my Gen-X and Boomer superiors think so). "Did you read this Forbes article? Did you know social media is ruining communication?"

Sigh. Facepalm.

The mainstream media is always going to find a way to freak us out. That strategy once sold more papers and now it gets more pageviews. Ultimately, it's all about advertisements. Truly great journalism ignores the bottom line and pushes ideas that push us forward as people. So where are the mainstream articles about the power of social? Where are the visionaries? Some get it. +Craig Kanalley, +Jason Salas, +Brent Rose, and +Dan McDermott are great examples. But they're a minority. Why? I'd argue it's because they know what it means to live in a digital world -- the ones who aren't digital natives are immigrants, and they're happy to have found this new land of unique opportunity.

Maybe I've got it all wrong and maybe the rise of the :-) is a sign of our impending cultural doom. But I suspect this is no different than any other mass cultural change in our shared history: some people don't like it simply because it is different. They don't want to learn a new way of doing things. But the digital landscape is changing the world in ways we can't hide from. If you can't accept that Gen Y wants to interact with brands on Twitter who engage them, or if you can't accept that people expect a wealth of information to be available at their fingertips, you are not going to be part of the majority (real or perceived) for long.

Are you a digital native or a digital immigrant?
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