6 Reasons Why Digital Literacy Matters Today

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    While many of us aim to reduce our screentime, digital technology has the potential to make our work and personal lives better if used wisely. With laptops and internet connections, learners have the power to keep a flexible hybrid-remote work schedule, access a world of information, and connect with people all over the globe. 

    The main way to reap the full benefits of technology is to become digitally literate. If you’re feeling unsure about the importance of digital literacy and don’t know how to make it a healthy part of your life, read on to explore the six reasons why digital literacy is important today, and discover how you can incorporate it into your life without compromising your happiness. 

    Digitally Literate Learners Know How To Focus

    Digital Literacy Reduces Digital Distractions: According to a recent UC Irvine study on distraction, refocusing after just one interruption can take up to 23 minutes. Think about how much time you have spent googling the right way to make a Loom video, or going out of your way to figuring out how a certain computer program works. 

    Knowing how to navigate the internet and use new technologies saves you time, helps you do your job more efficiently, and reduces daily distractions. 

    While it’s easy for all of us to get distracted online, a key component of being digital literate is knowing how to focus on the task at hand and pinpoint important information. To reduce digital distraction and build your digital literacy skills, consider muting notifications when you are in the middle of an important project. 

    But Digital Literacy Training Takes Up Time! Maybe you think that completing a digital literacy training or course would take up a lot of your time, and put you behind on the rest of your work. 

    Taking the time now to improve your digital literacy skills will save you precious time in the future, and help you hit the ground running at any organization. 

    Digital Literacy Doesn’t Have To Be Depressing

    Digital Literacy Keeps Us Globally Connected: A 2021 study on social media suggested that 50.1% of the time spent on phones is done using social media apps such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. While it’s important to find a balance between social media and in-person interactions, the coronavirus pandemic has shown us that social media has the potential to keep relationships alive, keep us informed, and help us connect with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. 

    • Digital Literacy skills allow us to utilize accessible communication channels and create a diverse global network. 
    • For example, let’s say there’s a student who lives in a small town in the US who wants to put on an international film festival. Through social media, they can reach out to filmmakers and artists from every country, learn about other ways of life, and introduce their audience perspectives they would have otherwise never had access to. 

    3.96 billion people currently use social media worldwide which is almost double the audience recorded in 2015. By tapping into the potential of social media and integrating it into your digital literacy skillset, you’ll be able to communicate with more people and expand the reach of your organization or mission. 

    But Social Media Depresses Me! Too much of anything can b Like any tool, social media can be used irresponsibly and have adverse health effects. There have been many studies that show that social media can be linked to depression, loneliness, and anxiety. What’s important to remember, however, is that correlation does not imply causation. 

    When starting your digital literacy journey, be mindful of how social media affects you and limit your time on it into short chunks. Once you become digitally literate, you’ll know how to quickly and efficiently reach audiences on social media platforms in a short amount of time, and won’t need to spend hours scrolling mindlessly through Instagram. 

    Digitally Literate People Are Lifelong Learners

    Digital Literacy Promotes Learning: Not too long ago, learners had to go to the library and search for the right book to find the answers they were looking for. Even when they found the book they were originally looking for, there was no guarantee that it had all of the information they needed. While books are still useful, the internet provides us with a wealth of information, available anywhere at any time. Unlike books, scores of digital information can be carried around on our phones or computers and accessed at a moment’s notice. 

    • Being digitally literate enables you to explore the information available to you on the internet, and sift out reputable sources from the junk. 
    • Digitally literate learners can share information seamlessly with others, and in turn, promote a culture of learning within their organization. 

    But I Prefer Books! Just because you are digitally literate doesn’t mean you have to give up books forever; it simply expands your skill set. Many great learning organizations combine digital and analog work to keep learners engaged and add a personalized element to content development. To keep a balance between tech and text, consider having a book you read for pleasure that you can come back to at the end of a long workday. This will engage a different part of your brain, and help you stay motivated when you do go back to work. 

    Digital Literacy and Flexibility Go Hand In Hand

    Digitally literacy is more of a mindset than a skill. Embracing flexibility, learning agility, and curiosity are essential parts of being a successful digital learner and finding the tech-life balance that works for you. 

    In what ways do you think you can improve your digital literacy skills? Does your company offer training? Share your thoughts and feelings with us at WeLearn, because together, we learn.

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