What is the role of digital literacy in the society today? Can people really live without interacting with technology, or should they focus on mastering it? These questions are discussed at many social forums. Each side has its own arguments, but there really is no denying the fact that the future of humanity lies with the development of technology. Therefore, promotion of digital literacy is essential.
In order to see the importance of digital literacy promotion, one must understand what it is and how it can be used. In simple terms, it can be explained as an ability to effectively use technology for creating, assessing and navigating information. Digital literacy is not a replacement for general literacy, but a complementary ability that cannot be fully utilized by an illiterate person. As with traditional literacy, its purpose is researching and processing the information. The “digital” part of the term means that the tools used for working with this data are of digital nature. They are, but not limited to:
- Mobile devices
- Web applications
- The Internet
Promoting digital literacy means teaching more people how to use computers. The importance of this kind of education is obvious, as these devices play an essential role in various areas of life today. Considering that the complexity and functionality of IT (information technology) is constantly growing, it gets obvious that soon even bigger part of our everyday lives will involve using some kind of digital gadgets. This means that digital literacy will not only make it easier for people to use the new devices, but will also increase the number of those who can operate them.
Despite the fact that removing various IT gadgets from use is completely impossible today, there is a group of technophobes who claim that technology will be the downfall of humanity. However, these people have nothing to support their claims, apart from quoting some rare cases of individuals abusing the power of technology. All these arguments can be refuted by the fact that promoting digital literacy will minimize the number of such incidents, because it teaches people to be responsible users.
Regardless of what anyone says, technology plays an integral part in the world today. It cannot be banned, and its influence will continue to grow. Therefore, increasing digital literacy among people is essential for ensuring that they use the power that can be acquired through technology correctly. This will also show them the extent of this power and motivate some people to work towards bettering digital systems.