My review of Grown Up Digital

Book number five in my “26 in 52 Challenge” took a bit longer to get through than I thought it would. Grown Up Digital, written by Don Tapscott aims to prove the point that those born in the “Net Generation” (or Generation Y) aren’t as screwed up as those in Generation X or Baby Boomers think they are.

Since I’m a part of the Net Generation this is something that interests me. From the outset, however, I felt like it was a manual for Boomers/Gen Xers to read, and I was looking in as an outsider. For the first time reading a “Gen Y” kind of piece, didn’t feel it accurately portrayed my Generation, even though Tapscott backed up his arguments with facts taken from surveys from a variety of places and acknowledged arguments from critics; it just all seemed too much of a positive look for the generation; too good to be true – like the research was off.

One of the points brought up in the book is that my generation is living online or our devices. This is another generalization that I can’t say is true. When I hang out with people I meet online, yes I see it, but in other friendships I don’t see it at all. There’s a whole whack of people my age that could care less about social networks and connecting. It’s not fair to lump a whole generation into this category. Those same people aren’t all failing because of the way schools teach or their parents govern the household either. I’m not saying the changes Tapscott proposed, including collaborative learning and family life, are bad, I’m just saying maybe it’s not this generation that necessarily needs it to do well.

I can make this post go on for much longer. There are so many points to bring up, but I’ll cut it short. I’ll agree with Tapscott in saying the Net Generation isn’t going to doom the world. Each Generation overreacts at the next and things tend to turn out balanced either way. I doubt things will get much better or worse as we go along, but it’s always good to be hopeful for the future.

This is a great read if you enjoy the essay format, but I prefer conversational (maybe a trait of my generation) and this didn’t really give any of that. The points brought up are always a great discussion so I don’t regret reading it, but I give it a 2.5/5.

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About Sean Bailey
Social media specialist who also happens to be a tech geek that's addicted to reading, movies, music, sports and coffee. Anything said on this blog is my opinion (obviously).

One Response to My review of Grown Up Digital

  1. Certainly have heard of the book, and have seen Don Tapscott in person when he introduced an authour at a book launch, but I haven’t read Grown Up Digital.

    However I must say I agree w/ the point you make about maybe it’s not our generation that necessarily needs all this technology to do well. I know not all my friends are 24/7 connected and living online and they’re doing fine. But I wonder if the next generation will be the one who will rely on living online for their success… Will be interesting to see.

    I also must say being in this generation that has grown up around a lot of technology doesn’t change the fact we’re still human and at the end of the day our generation, I feel anyway, still knows the value of being offline but is able to balance it by knowing the value of being online too… if that makes any sense… y’know what I mean?! Wonder if the next generation will truly be 100% online and connected and obsessed with their gadgets – I don’t know if this is an accurate description of ours… maybe Don is a futurist? 🙂

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