My sister has multiple academic degrees, unlike me, who ran with the first Bachelor's degree that came my way.
If I had stayed in school, like her, I would have learned this (which she relayed to me):
Science has determined that, with regard to technology, the world is separated into two distinct camps: People born before 1983 and people born after 1983.
Those born before 1983 will be of a chronological age that will put them in the category of
"Digital Immigrant". This means that they will probably move through technology "speaking with an accent". Probably knowing the technology that they need, but not much more than that. Probably not easily taking to newer concepts unless taught by someone younger and geographically closer. More likely to cling to good old communication techniques like phone calling and emailing and even the beloved "snail-mail". They're more likely to care about telephone operators and mail carriers, gas station attendants and grocery baggers. They probably think that FedEx and UPS are still the best ways to send information quickly. As a matter of fact, they probably have FedEx or UPS t-shirts and mugs.
Those people born after 1983 are considered "Digital Natives". Digital technology will be natural and intuitive for them. These people will be more likely to use technology as a utensil or extension of themselves. It will be an automatic and seamless default choice for not only problem solving, but these younger folk will enhance and enrich their lives by "short-cutting" through red tape and useless steps to pure end solutions.
I'm one of those FedEx lovers. I keep stamps in my desk drawer and mail things to people who live in my town because I think it's just easier that way. I like talking to our mail carrier and I secretly love that packages and envelopes were handled by so many people that I don't know, just to get to me (not my bills). The first time my mother emailed me, she drove over to see if it arrived. Nuff said. And she thought that was pretty high-tech.
This is why I think I won't be using LinkedIn . I have heard from the "natives" that it's a useful and well respected link to professionals from professionals. They feel that the recommendations they can send and get are top notch legit and contain no funny or cute comments meant to be endearing.
I think I'm too far evolved from 1983 to incorporate another communication network in my work world. I'm not sure how education would use it more...I would think that recommendations would be useful, but my colleagues would call or just email.
I'm already "facebooking" (I heard that was a verb now), and we do that to keep in touch with our changing international family and friends. That's enough information for me. So far.
My accent must be too thick.