Born Analog

I dislike the term “digital native.” I mean no offense to Marc Prensky, who popularized it (along with its counterpart, “digital immigrant”), but the term is laden with colonial baggage, though as a humanities person I’m perhaps hypersensitive to that sort of thing.  More important, the term also misses an important point. Today’s technologically savvy young people were born analog. Apple’s iPod completely changed the music industry; the iPhone all…

Facebook and academic performance: Reconciling a media sensation with data

I recall deciding not to blog about an unpublished study that reported a correlation between lower grades and higher Facebook usage, though I did make a mental note of how some of the coverage was confusing correlation with causation. A recent draft manuscript suggested that Facebook use might be related to lower academic achievement in college and graduate school (Karpinski, 2009). The report quickly became a media sensation and was…