FIR Interview: Philip Young, Project NEMO, on Digital Naturals

Tablet at work

With every passing day, the distinction between online and offline becomes more obscure, says Philip Young as he explains his thinking behind ‘Digital Naturals,’ the topic of conversation with FIR co-host Neville Hobson in this FIR Interview, recorded in November 2014.

Today, Young says, nearly all of us have some digital competence. “We are becoming Digital Naturals, routinely using an array of online tools in our daily lives, even if few of us are completely comfortable in this new environment.”

Young believes the phrase ‘digital natural’ is a far more relevant and accurate way of describing people’s behaviours that transcend the rigidity and barriers of two behavioural phrases in current common use and that isn’t defined by generation, sex or age:

Digital Naturals helps both academics and practitioners understand today’s world. It is a helpful and necessary step forward from the outdated and divisive labeling of Digital Natives  and Digital Immigrants.

He explains how Digital Naturals help public relations practitioners, a topic that he references in this FIR Interview, expanding further on the ideas ands concepts presented during the third NEMO conference in Helsingborg in October.

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About our Conversation Partner

Philip YoungPhilip Young is project leader for NEMO: New Media, Modern Democracy, based at Lund University Campus Helsingborg, Sweden.

He has been researching the impact of social media on PR practice for ten years, presenting findings at conferences across Europe. He is co-editor with Jesper Falkheimer, Mats Heide and Timothy Coombs of Strategic Communication, Social Media and Democracy: The Challenge of the Digital Naturals, which will be published next year in the prestigious Routledge New Directions in Public Relations and Communication Research series.

Philip also co-wrote Online Public Relations, second edition, with David Phillips.

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(Photo via Unify on Forbes. Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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