Digital competencies, experimentations, and a social structural in a whirl: A tale of two generations


Digital competencies, experimentations, and a social structural in a whirl: A tale of two generations

Namita Nagpal * Dr. Sarvesh Dutt Tripathi**

Key words: online experimentation, young people, social norms, technology, generational gaps, gender marginalisation digital divide

Abstract- digital media has opened doors of opportunities to the last person in the row. However, the picture may not be a rosy one when situated in social system amid ground realities. Technology never works in a void; it works in and through the social system, therefore influencing while being influenced. The study explores online experimentation practices of young people and how parents look at it, in terms of understanding their curiosities and inquisitions, in a world of changing social norms, technological freedoms and diversity. How do parents orient their traditional role play of parental authority to deal with novel hobbies of young people like online gaming and porn watching, which may not contribute to their personality development in a positive way. How the generational divide exacerbates digital divide and vice versa and the spill over effect on gender add a social spin to this modern technological phenomenon. The research objectives are 1) to ascertain online experimentations of young people and 2) how these practices are creating gaps in family relationships. Looking at the inhibitions of young people the research methodology uses survey of young people to ascertain their experimentation practices and focus group discussions with them in order to triangulate the results. Interviews with parents were conducted to determine the nature of digital divide that prevents them to approach the issue directly with online experimentation practices of young people. Findings of the study suggest additions to the complexity of social picture as new social norms are found to be emerging, supplanting older norms thus creating moments of alienation for the digital immigrants with the gender caught in the crossfire of generations.


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*Namita Nagpal is pursuing her Ph. D. from USMC, GGSIP university, sector 16 ‘C’ Dwarka, Delhi, 78.

**Dr. Sarvesh Dutt Tripathi is Asst. Professor in USMC, GGSIP university, sector 16 ‘C’ Dwarka, Delhi, 78.