Name: Digital natives.
Appearance: Head down, face illuminated by faint blue glow.
Hang on, before we start, how do I get this message off my screen? Itâs telling me my iCloud is full up. Will that delete all my emails? Just go to the âmanage storageâ option under the iCloud settings and delete the backup devi â¦
Wait, wait. Start that again, slow-ly. Iâve got a Groupon I donât want to lose. I see youâre not a digital native.
Theyâve seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. Something like that. Basically these tech-savvy under-35s see technology as a life-enhancing friend, rather than infuriating foe.
Is that why you know how to burst the iCloud? Iâm flattered. But the dirty little secret of so-called digital natives is that you can just Google â say â how to set up a new wifi network, et voilÃ !, the in-laws will think youâre the next Mark Zuckerberg.
Youâre telling me young people arenât prenaturally intuitive when it comes to coding? Exactly, although the idea that young people are better than old people with technology has become received wisdom. A paper published in the journal Teaching and Teacher Education says that âinformation-savvy digital natives do not existâ.
But my grandson showed me how to mail merge! The studyâs author says assuming the kids are all right with computers is damaging. âWe have to treat people as human, cognitive learners and stop considering one specific group to have special powers,â says Paul Kirschner of the Open University of the Netherlands.
So what do these young people use technology for if not planet-altering coding? The same thing as the rest of us. Passively soaking up information.
I believe itâs called Netflix-and-chilling. So, will this puncture millennialsâ image of themselves? Well, it might stop junior colleagues thinking they are so clever as I struggle to remember which shortcut closes a tab in Chrome.
Itâs command + W! You just Googled that. Well done. Now does that work on both Mac and Windows?
Can you slowly and patronisingly tell me how they are different? The easy way to remember is: one has solitaire, the other doesnât have solitaire and costs Â£1,000 more.
Do say: âThere is no cloud, itâs just someone elseâs computer.â
Donât say: âThere are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who donât.â