What makes you a digital native? Is it enough to be born after 1980?

Akcayir M., Dundar H., Akcayir G.

COMPUTERS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR, vol.60, pp.435-440, 2016 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 60
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.chb.2016.02.089
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.435-440
  • Keywords: Digital native, University students, Technology experience, TECHNOLOGY USE, STUDENTS USE, INTERNET, GENDER, MULTITASKING, FACEBOOK, ANXIETY, DIVIDE
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


The purpose of this study is to determine levels of technological proficiency among university students to see if they should be characterized as "digital natives." For this purpose, rather than using types and frequency of technology use to characterize a digital native, the Digital Native Assessment Scale (DNAS) developed by Teo (2013) was employed. This scale has an established reliability and validity measure. It measures several factors (e.g., grew up with technology, comfortable with multi-tasking, reliant on graphics for communication, thrive on instant gratifications and rewards, etc.) relating to accepted characteristics of a digital native. The participants in the study were 560 university students, 278 of whom were from Turkey and 282 from Kyrgyzstan. The findings indicate that these university students actively used computers and the Internet. The statistical results show that digital natives can be characterized by including their academic year (Freshman, Sophomore, etc.), national culture, and experiences with technology (computers, tablet PCs, and the Internet). The results also indicate that there are no significant differences in the participants' perceptions of themselves as digital natives due to their gender or academic disciplines. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.