Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto.
Don Tapscott’s Grown Up Digital (2009) examines the life of people who have grown up in the digital age. Tapscott’s idea for the book initially arose in the 1990s after viewing the rise of internet technology within his own family. He realized that the current generation is demonstrating proficiency with the internet and digital technology which the past generations can’t keep up with and this is making them notably different from these past generations. As a strategic business analyst he realized that it would be important to gain an in-depth understanding of this phenomenon, so he commissioned a large scale study to investigate the issue; the book is comprised from information the study found and personal insights from the author.
One of the foundational assumptions of the book is that the defining characteristic of the post-Generation X generation is the overwhelming influence the world-wide-web has had on their lives. In characterizing this influence, the author deems this generation the Net Generation (refusing to settle on the often used Generation Y moniker because it ignores the highly individual characteristics of this new generation). According to Tapscott, the Net Generation spans from 1977 to 1997, including even more births than the Baby Boomers. Indeed, they have been deemed the Echo Generation in response to the Baby Boomers’ initial post-war explosion.
One of the major tenants of the research is that because of the current explosion of the internet, the world has become a much more integrated place. Since globalization has progressed to this degree the research necessarily focused on international elements as well as those within the United States. John Geraci, the project manager of the research, stated, “For the first time ever, we can speak of a worldwide youth generation” (Tapscott, pg. 23). As a result, the research included twelve countries,