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Why a digital immigrant?

For a while, I claimed to be a full stack storyteller. I suppose that was a bit much (a bit?). Honestly, I knew next to nothing about software development, other than there was a front-end and a back-end. I think about it now and, that’s more analogous to an author and a publishing company. That is not what I was and not what I am even now. Therefore, my failed attempt to be clever only exposed my unfamiliarity with the digital realm. It is a limitation of my digital literacy, the bounds of which I need to push further.

According to Oxford, a digital immigrant was born or grew up before the internet became common. That sounds a lot like the pre-Millennial generations. YouTuber Ian Danskin brilliantly pointed out that what separates Gen X and Millennials is their relationship to the internet. Per what he said, that makes me the former because it was something that came home one day. However, I believe that the younger you were when experiencing cyberspace, the better you were at grasping it.

Image of Ian Danskin from his Youtube page, Innuendo Studios. The epitome of a digital immigrant.
from https://www.youtube.com/InnuendoStudios

“Classically, the dividing line between the generations [Gen X & Millennials] is framed by their relationship with the internet.”

Ian Danskin, innuendo studios


Jed Oelbaum and Sarah Stankorb coined the term Xennial. Those born between 1977 and 1983 had both Gen X and Millennial traits. The term had mixed reviews, with Business Insider embracing it and Danskin cringing at it. Nevertheless, my 10th-grade self never heard about the World Wide Web until he came across a Compuserve hard disk (that’s right, hard disk). From there, I continued to refine my tech-savvy skills and evolve as a digital immigrant.

Featured image of Jed Oelbaum & Sarah Stankorb's article on Xennials.
Image from Xennial article by Jed Oelbaum and Sarah Stankorb

“Xennials—a micro-generation that serves as a bridge between the disaffection of Gen X and the blithe optimism of Millennials.”

Jed Oelbaum and sarah stankorb, good magazine, 2014

Of course, if you look at my site title, I claim to be more than just a digital immigrant. I am also a cultural refugee and ethnic exile. Click on the links to learn more.