Growing Up Digital

Don Tapscott, Author
Don Tapscott, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $22.95 (38p) ISBN 978-0-07-063361-2
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
A love song to the Internet, this follow-up to Tapscott'sThe Digital Economy (1996) outlines the Net's effects on today's young people. According to Tapscott, children who cruise the digital wonderland are smarter, more independent, more self-confident and better suited to the work force of the future. Further, the worst the Net has to offer is not as bad as what exists in ""real life."" Short on hard science, save for statistics, and long on quotes by young netizens, the text argues for use of the Net in homes, schools and the workplace. While many of Tapscott's points have been made elsewhere in a more convincing fashion, the author, chairman of the Alliance for Converging Technologies, a corporately funded think tank, has amassed an entertaining group of examples of and testimonials to ""N-Gen"" (Net Generation) learning. One company goes from country to country, chronicling the everyday lives of culturally diverse children and ""putting them up"" for interactive lessons in sociology. A 10-year-old claims, ""the Web is the only place where you can insult someone and not have to worry about them pulling a gun on you."" Pornography, attention-span concerns, ""cybersitters"" and the effects of advertising are also addressed. While sometimes reading like a handbook for prospective N-Gen manipulators (""The challenge for advertisers lies in finding the sites N-Geners actually slow down to read""), the book will serve parents and corporations alike as an introduction to under-18 Net culture. 100,000 copy first printing; $100,000 ad/promo. (Oct.)
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