Digital Natives

In Radio and the Changing World I strive to ensure that the populous knows and understands the importance and relevance of the industry of radio. Whether it be terrestrial (my preference) or internet the fashion to which radio is delivered is constantly changing. Recently, Mark Ramsey, one of the country’s most well informed media specialists, attended a seminar in which he was asked a crucial question from a colleague that sums up the essence of this entire blog, “Will young people grow in the radio habit?” Although Ramsey believes that we will not, he does believe that they will, in essence, adapt to a new style… Internet radio.

I believe that Ramsey is correct in assuming that young people will adapt to the internet radio, but I do not believe terrestrial radio will die out the way he describes it. For the sake of keeping my stance correctly identified, I am advocating Ramsey’s notion that the youth will adapt to internet radio. With the increasing number of kids having some sort of outlet to the World Wide Web, comes a change in how they get their news and information in the world. From cultural determinist stand point this will ultimately dictate why the youth will adapt to the changing radio waves. Consider how fast sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Pandora, IheartRadio and much more caught on to the youth of the world. Two of those sites (Pandora & IheartRadio) are already changing the way media in transferred over the air waves. Ramsey refers to the youth as the “Digital Natives”, and he reminds us that it is not the platform to which what we find exhilarating, it is the content to which we strive to find from a platform that the digital natives look for. I am a realist, and I understand that the frequencies for terrestrial radio can’t last forever on an analog standpoint (frequency & radio towers), but through a digital outlet the terrestrial world can continue to shine. The world is already so technologically dependent, and there is nowhere to go than up from here, so why innovate the old trends to a different platform? I like the term Digital Natives. I like the term so much that I think it holds a responsibility to my generation and the next one. The responsibility of ensuring that radio continues its righteous path because remember, “The older generation will migrate to the ways of the Digital Natives.”

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