Since the inception of mankind, survival for the fittest has been a demand by nature. To survive
in the long run, change in accordance with the environment is a compulsion, not an option. In
this race of betterment and advancement, modern man has landed in the time where being a
literate is a concept on the verge of obsolescence.
Breakthrough in the tech world drastically changed the conventional meaning of literacy. We
live in a digital age and can potentially be a part of super digital environment that is yet to
come. A couple of decades back ability to read and write was what qualified a man as literate
but the existing digital environment is superseding the old concept. To tackle and survive in this
digital world digital literacy is a must. Digital Literacy is the ability to use information and
communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring
both cognitive and technical skills.
In today’s world, technology is almost everywhere and in the time to come, technology will be
like oxygen – ubiquitous and necessary. Such a behavior of technological advancements
increase the importance of Digital Literacy many folds. Various computational devices (like
desktops, laptops, mobile phones, e-readers) have provided an entirely new medium for
reading and writing. Today we write on MS-Word, read from webpages and pdfs, we share our
thoughts on blogs and social media. YouTube is our new classroom. These activities are
becoming widespread and soon they will dominate the traditional means of literacy.
Enormous milestones being touched in the digital world resulted in a presumption that in next
twenty years, thirty five percent of human tasks will be overtaken by computers, making digital
literates eligible for the job and rendering rest unemployable, even though being jacks of their
fields. Digital literacy is one component of being a digital citizen – a person who is responsible
for how they utilize technology to interact with the world around them. Digital technology
allows people to interact and communicate with family and friends on a regular basis despite of
physical constraints and busy schedules. It has been a norm of the society that a stronger one
always dominated the weak. Strong in terms of power, position, wealth and even knowledge. In
today’s world people who are digitally literate tend to dominate those who are not. This is
another reason for digital literacy to be quite significant in this modern society. Another major
importance of digital literacy is to bridge the digital divide. When discussing the digital divide it
is helpful to have a definition or understanding of what this term means. The term is often
used to describe the differences in access to information and communication technologies.
From searching a query on internet to shop on ecommerce websites, if today’s man is lacking
digital literacy skills, in comings few years he will be no less than an early man with some good
clothes over his body.
Digital literacy is mistakenly forsaken to a particular sect of people who feel privileged about it
or some people assume it as an optional way of convenience but reality is far different from this
perception. Digital literacy is way towards productive results and it will improve our future the
same way “as the read and write literacy” did in the past. According to Bill Gates, “Digital
Reading will completely take over. It’s lightweight and it’s fantastic for sharing. Over the time it
will take over.”
Future is the outcome of present and our digital literates of today are sowing seeds that will
make digital literacy a vital part of tomorrow.
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