This is a part of a set of selected, wonderful and insightful, observations about digital living from our NYC pilot interviewees. Read their experiences of a digital diet here, and their visions of a digital future here.

Note that these mini portraits are just initial ‘samples’. There’s so much interesting material to be processed and analysed. Stay tuned!

And thank you so much, EF!

Connected and Collaborating

Close Personal History of a Digital Native

“Well when I was in 2nd grade I got my 1st phone but none of my friends had one, so I didn’t really use it, but when I got to like 4th or 5th grade I found out there’s a thing called IM and that’s when I technically started chatting with friends online and stuff.

First I had the LG flip phone and then a Nokia flip phone and then the iPhone. Most of my friends have iPhones or Blackberries.”

Digital Day

“Right now, I’m in Computer Tech so that’s my first period of the day (at school). I just use the Internet during the day but my chatting begins exactly when I get home from school, or, maybe, on the bus I text.

There are a couple of friends who are online a lot, like me, so then I’m usually talking to them, about 10 people go online there (iChat) but at school texting-wise, maybe 25 +.

When I went on the media diet they (my friends) were like, ‘where were you? I missed you!’ One of my friends texted me like 200 text messages! She was wondering where I was, she was bored, and hadn’t heard from me… But I couldn’t do the 24 hours because I had to do my schoolwork.”

Connected, Collaborating

“(My friends and I), we do homework a lot together. We videochat and if we have a problem we try to work it out together.”

[Amelia notes: “Well, I guess I used to do that… When I was in high school the Internet was just starting and we didn’t have cellphones or anything but I used to call my best friend every night and we would do our math homework together.”]

“I feel connected. I just have to go to the kitchen and turn on my computer and even though it takes a lot of time, to do homework and figure out a problem (with friends, online) it’s easier that way, if my mom’s at work and can’t help me.

There’s a difference between here (the US) and Europe (in terms of media use). For instance, I noticed that here, even if you’re at the dinner table you could be texting, but there you wouldn’t be. But they still text. I don’t think they use iChat and stuff.”

Privacy and Time

“In the future, everything’s growing so fast now that we have the iPad we will probably be able to iChat on it, you can probably just do that on the bus or something.

As for Facebook, some people think it’s very easy to stalk people there so some people don’t use it so much, so they’ve gone away from it.

And also, just like spending the time (on Facebook)… Even though it has so many applications, like games or whatever, but the things you could do is to put picture on your profile and people comment on them, so it’s sort of getting like too much…”