Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants: Comparing the Impact of Online Activities on Their Perception of Social Connectedness

Yeji Kwon, Eun-yeong Na, Sora PARK, Eun-mee Kim, Yena Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study empirically examined Prensky’s concept of ‘digital natives’ and ‘digital immigrants’ by comparing how online activities and SNS uses impact their perception of social relationships. A face-to-face survey on 1108 adolescents (mean age = 13.95) and 239 adults (mean age = 33.69) was conducted in Korea between April and May 2013. In contrast to previous discussions regarding digital natives and immigrants, this research found that there was not a clear cut distinction between adolescents and adults in the uses of digital devices, the frequency and type of online activities. However, SNS uses and the perception of how these activities influence their social relationships were significantly different. In case of adolescents, their online content uses and networks on SNS were closely related to their social connectedness, isolation, and belonging. To adolescents, online relationships were crucial to how they perceive of their social world around them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-40
Number of pages36
JournalKorean Journal of Broadcasting and Telecommunication Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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