Digital Literacy is a Blessing and a Curse
Frederick Douglass once declared, “Once you learn to read you will be forever free.” In his life, literacy was the blessing that helped him reach emancipation.
However, literacy was also the curse that opened his eyes to much of the cruelty of the world outside of his plantation that he had previously been hidden from. Today, literacy is the same, especially on the internet, because the benefits of it are also accompanied by discordant points. It can be unbelievably helpful in the way that it was to grant you access to hordes of information, but through that, misinterpretation is often an issue. Communication is also easily achieved with literacy, though as a result, cyberbullying has become an immense pitfall of society. Online literacy also helps to keep a lot of the population up to date on proceedings in other parts of the world.
However, because the internet is so accessible, anyone who is literate can post an event, and completely misguide its readers. In those ways, digital literacy in modern day is both a blessing and a curse. Literacy in the internet is a double-edged sword because even though online you are granted access to a copious amount of information that you would previously be hidden to, misinterpretation of that information can occur. The web is like a twenty-four-hour library with new content being added everyday, and you have a library card that never expires. All of that information is open to anyone, anywhere, at any time. On the other hand, the accessibility of the information also poses a problem.
Misinterpretation can become a complication because you can read information anywhere. Someone in one area might say that an article means one thing because it reflects their beliefs and someone in a completely different place might say something wildly different for the same reason. As a result, we must venture through the internet with prudence. A positive aspect of digital literacy today is that you can communicate with people that you usually would not be able to. Internet communication is extremely beneficial for many reasons.
It allows people to connect from different sides of the world. Someone in the United States would not be able to easily interact with someone on the other side of the world, like China, without being digitally literate. People can interact in chat rooms, forums, the comments of articles and newspapers, and many other places. This interaction can lead to many new ideas being generated, which is an asset. However, literate people on the internet can also pose a problem when it comes to communication because they create an opportunity for cyberbullying. As a result, more than one third of young people have experienced some kind of depraved harassment online, a statistic that is constantly escalating.
We can’t remain idle, as more and more kids suffer as a result as this every year, which is ineffably odious. Literacy is both a blessing and a curse because while it can help keep the world up to date on occurrences that are going on in other places far away, people who don’t post accurate information and just compose fake news stories to post can deceive many. Online, there are reputable sources and unreputable sources. Reputable sources have accurate information, and are used by the majority of the public. Unreputable sources are mostly made by readers and have fabricated content in them.
They can cause major conflict if an untrue article about something horrible happening is read and people believe it when in reality it never happened. On Salon.com’s article, The 5 Best Fake News Stories of the Year, it was released that after Hurricane Sandy, articles were published with tidings of sharks invading some flooded suburban New Jersey towns. Many of these articles were accompanied by photoshopped pictures of sharks swimming next to cars on the street, and panicked readers everywhere. This emphasized the hazard that some literate people pose on the internet, however, that hazard is often outweighed by the benefits of other literate people on the internet, as these fake stories were pernicious. Overall, digital literacy in modern day is both a blessing and a malediction because while it can keep people up to date, allow access to a myriad of information, and helps to keep people far away from each other connected through communication.
However, on the other side of this beneficial and good-looking facade, another lurks behind it, filled with misinterpretation, false information, and cyberbullying. These are the downsides to digital literacy, downsides that we, as a society, must take with the good of it. This is similar to how Frederick Douglass acclimatized himself the blessings and curses of literacy in his day, too. Frederick Douglass was a slave because of his race but he was a slave to his passion of literacy by choice, which is why he deserved homage. Today, we are slaves to the internet in a growing technological world, but only as individuals do we enslave ourselves to the negatives and positives it possesses.