Digital Literacy Narrative
I was born into a generation where life is ruled by technology. There isn’t a moment in my life that I can think of where a computer was not present in one way or another. From kindergarten to now, as a junior in college, a majority of my educational experience has involved some type of computer usage or another. Despite growing up in the age of digital dominance I have never thought of myself as digitally “literate.” Many experiences I have had since the time I was able to direct a mouse on my own I have been developing my digital literacy with out even knowing it.
Digital literacy is something we all deal with in different levels. Different generations have different experiences within the digital realm. However with in a generation’s digital experience there can be another set of levels. Because we each have grown up in a different environment and have been able to access the digital worlds in different ways, how people interact when it comes to digital literacy is always different.
Looking back I can always think of a time where technology has been in my life in one way or another. When I was in Kindergarten some of my earliest learning experiences was on a computer. Although at the time, I thought I was just playing games, I was developing my digital literacy skills. I was learning not only how to use a computer, but how to take information and process it in a certain manor. I have been conditioned through the years to know how to work with technology, as well as take digital information and skills and be able to process it and apply it to society and critical thinking. We are becoming digitally literate at any point in our lives. Any type of digital game we play as a child, academic or otherwise, is forming our literacy. Any type of online newspaper, social media or news source does the same for those of us whose literacy is developing at a later stage.
When challenged with the task to think of how digital literacy is used in my own day-to-day life I immediately thought of Facebook. Facebook is a social media site that allows its members to think share and discuss their lives and opinions. Facebook is a platform where digital literacy is used almost every day, with out many people thinking about it. For example, if someone wants to offer their opinions on a topic in a way to sway their readers or friends then they will either knowingly or unknowingly apply the classic rhetoric tools of ethos, pathos and logos.
For example, I often see on Facebook people telling stories. Sometimes it’s something as simple as writing, “extremely disappointed, text me” or varies to a sharing of an article or post that sparks a debate or argument. This is often a way for the Facebook poster to use pathos with their various readers. By writing statuses such as these we are aiming to strike up some sort of emotions with in our followers, whether it’s concern, pity, anger or annoyance. It creates an exigence in which emotion can be seen.
Another way that Facebook users use themes such as ethos, pathos and logos in various statuses and updates is when they want to tell about something going on in their own life. When we are giving updates we are employing ethos. We are telling a story about ourselves that can seem to be nothing but true because the person telling the story is credible.
Without knowing it, many of us who use social media are often using digital rhetoric. As an avid Facebook user I am employing digital rhetoric in my day-to-day life. Because my first social media site was in fact Facebook, I see these different usages of classical rhetoric practices everyday. The site was part of my foundations of building my digital literacy outside of the classroom. Here I was able to both experience and portray my own thoughts and feelings on various topics and events. I would use the classical forms of rhetoric to try and get my followers to understand what I was saying, or to at least relate to me. Looking back on former posts on Facebook the first thing I can say is wow; I was an annoying 14 year old. Without knowing it I was using digital skills that I had both already developed and was still developing to create my own voice on any given topic. I thought that by “liking” a page with an edgy name I could get a message across to whoever I wanted to read it with out saying anything. I let my “like” act as my pathos. I was one who used certain tricks to get people to agree (in my mind) with what I had to say both socially and politically.
My six years on social media has served as my building blocks for digital literacy. It has helped me better grow and understand how to think and act critically in a societal manor. Now, I tend to share articles and information without providing insight into my own opinions on the subject as I have before. Through building up my digital literacy skills I have learned that sometimes the Kairos is just not there for a topic. Timing is always important with what you have to say, and the method in which you deliver that information can affect what you are trying reveal to the audience. Instead I would rather leave it up to the reader; provide the information and allow my friends and followers to critically think about what I had just shared with them. Who knows maybe we will come out with different outcomes?
Digital Literacy is not just something we learn once and are finished with it. Becoming and staying digitally literate, is a lifelong process where we are constantly learning.