Digial Generation 1.5

Immigrants to the United States are called 1st generation immigrants. They come to the US with their native customs, language and values. It is very difficult for 1st generation immigrants to make shifts to the new culture. Think of the frustrations some have when they encounter a 1st generation Mexican American and they do not speak Spanish. The blame often gets put on the Mexican American to "learn English", but that is a very difficult thing to do. If I moved to China how would I determine how to learn to speak Chinese if I do not know Chinese? First generation immigrants have a difficult gig.

Second generation people are the children of the 1st generation parents. These are the people who are required to speak, lets say, Spanish at home and English at school. They are torn between two cultures but over time, usually once they move out of the Spanish speaking home, many of the pressures diminish. This is not to say this generation has an easy life, it is very difficult to balance the two, but this is to say that the second generation seems to have an advantage of not having to unlearn things in order to learn new things, like the first generation has to do.

Then there is the 1.5 generation which are the people who are raised in a culture and then at some point in their development, say 16-25 years old, immigrate to a new culture. This group has the foundation of one culture but then must finish their development in another culture. So if their development is a pyramid then the bottom 2/3 would be one foundation and the top 1/3 would be another. This group seems to have many of the negatives of both the first and second generation with few of the positives of the same generations. So a 1.5 generation Mexican American immigrant would be able to speak Spanish, but also must learn English at a more difficult time than a second generation.

I feel as though I am a member of the 1.5 Digital immigrant generation. I know how to use the card catalogue but now it is of no use to me. I can text on a phone but do not see text as the primary way to communicate with others. What I know about the hardware of computers is only relevant to computers in the 1990's. I fear using a Mac because I am not sure I would know how to use it, and Windows works great for me. I think I would like an iphone but know that I would still have a paper calendar and paper to do list for a while.

Additionally many 1.5 generation immigrants were forced to immigrate and it many times was not their choice to move. The same is true for me in some respects. I did not choose to move into the Digital culture, but had to out of necessity. I did not choose to live a face paced life but it was given to me by man people. I find it hard to stop the current pace and direction of my life because the culture I live in has imposed itself onto me.