I became an American citizen a few years ago and I feel very comfortable being an American. Actually I should say, being a New Yorker. The rest of the country can be a bit more challenging, then again: I don’t think that’s an issue of being American or not American, but merely goes to show that New Yorkers are a breed of their own.
About being a ‘digital citizen’ I feel similar. I’m definitely not a native, I was born in the wrong place on the time line, but I feel totally comfortable moving around in the digital arena. My job and my personal curiosity have made it a necessity and have given me the drive to learn ‘digital’ as much as I have learned and continue to learn being American.
As much as I teach corporate transfers between the US and Switzerland how to conduct business successfully in either culture by understanding the underlying motivations from each culture and using those to their advantage, I find myself talking to fellow producers and filmmakers as well as clients who are not comfortable in the digital world how to transition into a digital environment at a pace and an intensity that makes them feel comfortable.
You need to know enough to ask the right questions and have an idea of what you do not know… make sense? My mantra: “I know enough to be dangerous and what I don’t know is a phone call (oops) I mean a web query away”.
Cultural differences can be as much geographical as they can be analog versus digital, or economic for that matter. The most important thing to remember is, that although we all speak the ‘same’ language (English presumably) we don’t. English does not equal English. Smallest cultural differences can make or break a deal or a negation. Not being ‘interested’ in other cultures (geographical, generational or economic) is not an option, especially as the digital world is breaking down the barriers of our physical world!