Welcoming Our Digital Innate Generation

I still remember how it happened.. My friends and students keep appraising my kids about how smart and amazing they are. Runni (5 years old) would play with laptop and smartphone so fluently, skill that amazed anyone who sees it. More over, we don’t even teach her how to do it. For some vocabularies, she rather says it in English, not in Indonesian. She won’t even know the meaning if we said it in Indonesian.

In another chance, Runni could present something so well in front of me, and camera of course. Seems great, right?

Yesterday, I would blindly proud having such girl as a daughter.

But, an idea suddenly emerged on my mind. Clarity.

It’s not that she is that smart. She is just her. One of our digital innate generation. Using gadget or going digital is natural for her, like what we do with electronics. She is more comfortable using sophisticated terms because she can hear it many times through video, as much as needed. And sure, talking in front of the camera is not a big deal for her.. Doing it in front of the public is the hard matter.

Digital innate is a term I first read in below infographic.  An unfamiliar term. Actually, it’s what we so-called Gen-Z, those who were born in 1998 – later.


in.nate : inborn; natural

The digital innate/gen-z were born digital. They don’t even have a slight idea about life before digital. We can consider them very tech savvy .

They’ll naturally learn, play, and socialize digitally. It’s not something that we predict will happen in the future. It’s something that happens right now.

Meanwhile, we as the parent is the digital native. We were there during the arising of digital. So we can adopt it better than our older ones, but not as good as the kids.

So yes, the definition of ‘smart’ in our generation is different with our kids. For me, those ‘look smart’ things are ordinary. Every kid out there could be just like her.. Full curiosity, with easy access to conduct self-directed learning by going digital. Again as the parent, what makes a kid so special is how he/she treats her God, family and friends, with love and thoroughness. This is not every child can do. This is what we really want, ask, and thank to Allah.

What I want to say here is that our child is living in a different world than us. It is not wise to force them to live the way we live.

Then it is our homework to define:

what a smart kid is for their generation..

how our child is gonna learn and work in the future..

what ‘the future’ is..

how we raise them in this digital era..

..and more importantly..

What life values and wisdom should we pass through to our children, without limiting the way they are supposed to live?

img source: www.pexels.com