Digital natives: Understanding our high-tech world

The Beacon editorial staff

Do you even know what a digital native is? If so, you are in the minority.

A digital native is a person born during or after the general introduction of digital technology here on our green earth, and supposedly, this person should have a greater understanding of technology’s concepts.

More than likely, you are one of these people who adopted technology as a form of life at an early age … but why, then, do you not know basic concepts associated with a computer? Presumably you are too busy having multiple broken English banter conversations on social media sites and your smartphone.

Granted, The Beacon knows you can turn on a computer or maybe you even know how to work a smartphone but is that enough to make you a tech savvy digital native? No.

Being a digital native is easy; all you need to know is how to Google any question you ever have about anything, know the differences between file extensions, and know how to use any program other than Microsoft Word.

Knowing Microsoft Word is not abnormal and does not make you a tech savvy junkie; our staff’s brothers and sisters learned how to use Microsoft word in third grade.

So to better inform yourself, here are some basic facts you should learn about the computer and internet. Now, you will be able to impress that special someone on a hot date or add depth to a scholarly conversation.
Whatever your professor, Google or Wikipedia teaches you about a program or accepted method of computing, it is already outdated.

According to CNET.com, Moore’s Law, a law observing the history of computing hardware, states that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. This means our processing power and technological innovation exponentially multiplies every two years.

Yes, that means the smart phone you have in 10 years will eat your current smart phone for breakfast. Not only will the processing power, size and capabilities each computing process change, but also the software and technologies used to harness this new power.

Everything can be found on the Internet so do not be afraid to use any search engine for an answer.
Most computer processing is done using binary code using only two numbers: 0 and 1.

To illustrate a textual example, 0101011101101001011010110111000001100101011001000110100101100001, is the word Wikipedia.

Did you know that the dark faded circle on the outermost edges of Instagram pictures is called a vignette? Or the process after you tap that icon to change the filter is called an automated action script?

An action script is a set of algorithmic-like methodical and predetermined functions set in place to automate the filtering process of the photo as soon asyou tap the icon on your phone with your greasy finger.
Note: Instagram does not make you a professional photographer.

Programs like Photoshop and Lightroom are far more complex versions of Instagram editing because they allow you to create your own action scripts along with nuanced editing.

Hold “shift” when you are resizing pictures in any program so you do not squash or distort them.
Next time you are on your browser, you can right click and view the page source if you want to steal some code for your website or find out true semi-secret information about their site.

What browser are you using? Do you even know what a browser is? Internet Explorer is one of the slowest browsers. If you want a better browser, our staff recommends Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

If you are a mischievous Internet user and you do not want your history to be saved, clear your history or set a schedule for history clearing. Don’t know how to do this? Search and figure it out.

Be weary of your emails. More than 247 billion emails are sent each day and of that, 200 billion (81 percent) of them are spam. Make sure you can tell the difference between a real and fake email. If it is too good to be true, it is not true.

You did not win the lottery in Kingston, Jamaica, and your dead third cousin didn’t leave you any sum of money in a foreign bank account.

Don’t believe anything that pops up about your computer being infected while you are searching the internet. Nearly all of those supposed malware checks are fake. The bad people want you to install a fake program on your computer.

Start using a free cloud storage drive so you never have to worry about losing your flash drive ever again; some of our staff’s favorite online cloud storage services are Dropbox and Google Drive. Although, Dropbox is now integrated with Facebook so we recommend you start with this service, then use Google Drive for additional storage.

Times are changing in the digital world; if you do not know the basics of this realm, you will be left in the dust and, worst case scenario, you won’t have a successful career.

The Beacon has heard many times that technology is killing our generation, and we all laugh. Technology has totally uprooted and changed the way we live our lives. It expedited the process of information sharing throughout all countries and truly made all knowledge- seekers equal.

Growing up in a digital empire has given us a chance to grow with technology, so why, then, are we not growing with it? Instead of playing on the computer, learn from what the computer offers you: an immeasurable amount of information available to you for free.