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A Matter Of Opinion

Digital Immigrant: Transistor stories anyone?

My Sunday column was about those of us who didn't grow up on computers but now live in the digital world the way immigrants reside in their new cultures. Here's an excerpt:

I am a digital immigrant who grew up on record players, tape recorders and televisions with rabbit ears. I'm trying my best to learn the ways of the digital natives – the younger people among us who grew up on computer technology. Immigrants from other lands are my role models in how to live between two cultures. They've taught me to:

• Learn the language. Eager new immigrants welcome help as they struggle with English. They want to be corrected when they misuse words, phrases and idioms. Digital natives speak a language foreign to those of us born in analog country. For instance, digital "tape recorders" don't use tapes. Their correct name: digital audio recorders. It sounds odd to me. But we digital immigrants must accept that we will always speak with an analog accent.

It sounded more nostalgic for analog technology, such as tape recorders and transistors, than I intended. But maybe "tone" speaks louder than words.

Share your stories here of old-world technology you either still use or miss.

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