What you need to know about digital natives!

If you think you know about digital natives, think again. I’ve been researching the habits of digital natives through observation for the last few years and listening to experts in the field. Of all the stories you read this year, this may be one of the most important.

Much of this is taken from a speech by Enrique Salem, President and Chief Executive Officer, Symantec Corporation.

What I am about to share with you is happening right now; it’s not five or ten years off. To be successful in business, we must build a world that works for them, and not try to force them to fit into our world.

These digital natives have never known a world without the Internet or without smart mobile devices.

According to a survey by Symantec, by the time these digital natives are 21 years old, they will have averaged:

  • 250,000 emails, IM’s and text messages
  • 10,000 hours on a cell phone
  • 14,500 hours online (80% of the time they are online they are using social networks). 

Digital natives don’t rely on traditional sources of information like books or websites. They turn to their social circle for information: Their social network, posts or YouTube. That means social media is their #1 priority for information. They are connected like never before and they collaborate like never before when they want an answer. For digital natives, they consider this to be better and faster to get things done.

Want a restaurant review? Digital natives turn to their social network, not traditional restaurant reviews. 

As they enter the workforce they always have a mobile device with them, they are always networked, they are always sharing, and they are always multitasking in a new way that redefines multitasking because they have the ability to do it better than any generation.

Digital natives are always connected.

Email will change. Digital immigrants frequently complain about how their email in-boxes are full. Digital natives don’t rely on email, so email will change.

Digital immigrants likely started with the Internet at work and brought it home. Digital natives see no difference between the Internet at work and the Internet at home. Most digital natives don’t think about identity and security the way digital immigrants do. Their connections are free and open and that’s how they like it. (This raises concerns about risk and security).

Digital natives are blurring the lines between work and home—and the future of business. All the ways we conduct business will change. It will be in the cloud. We will all be connected.

Here’s a revealing survey of digital natives by Symantec that shows just how real the change is; being mobile and connected is the real world.

  • 59% said they are already thinking about building line-of-business apps on their mobile devices
  • 71% said they are thinking about building custom mobile apps
  • 66% said they are thinking about creating a corporate app store

The implications for marketing, security, risk and compliance need to be addressed now by every business. At Digital3000.net we have prepared presentations and training sessions about this trend, and the legal and ethical risk and compliance issues. We are happy to do a presentation for keynotes or conferences. Contact Joe Barnes, Chief Executive Officer, Digital3000.net at joe@digital3000.net for more information.


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