About 18 months ago, I had a crisis of technology faith. I was worried about the influence of technology on our humanity, and I really had to stand back and decide if I was still going to participate in the industry.
After a bit of soul searching I realised that it’s not technology’s fault for our inhumanity to each other. It is us. It is how we use technology and how we incorporate it into our lives.
I decided to stay in the industry (surprise!), but make sure that I now focused on facilitating the intersection (and the positive power) of humanity and technology working together. This is now a crucial element to the Digital by Design approach.
So when I talk about Digital Literacy, I don’t just mean having the skills to use technology. I mean a lot more than that. To be digital literate you must have a healthy, balanced and purposeful use of Technology. And below are the three key areas I help people to do just that:
Build Healthy Habits
Humans are pretty bad at self-regulating. So it’s time to be a bit more responsible about how you interact with technology and build some healthy habits. You can do this in two ways:
- Manage the time you spend on technology
- Prevent disruptions caused by technology.
Be aware of Technology Traps
Last week I was gifted a book. I’m not actually advocating what they teach, so I’m not sharing the name of the book. It basically teaches businesses (especially tech companies) how to build addictive products.
Being aware of technology traps and being able to recognise them when you see them is vital. Be on the lookout for how software and apps are:
- Lulling us into addictive browsing
- Intruding on our time
- Capturing a lot more information about us than you think.
Get the most out of your Technology
Technology can do some great things! It’s not all bad, I promise. But to get the most out of it requires some work:
- Understand what benefits YOU want out of your technology (e.g. staying connected with your friends and family overseas, cutting down on a highly paper-based process at work)
- Be reactive – see where your technology has problems and fix them
- Be proactive – keep an eye on trends and new technologies – just because you don’t know about it, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! Explore what’s out there and have a little fun.
Whatever Digital Literacy turns out to be for you, it will take time and effort. It won’t be something that will happen by itself and it will be painful at times. But then again, nothing worth having comes easy does it? And Digital Literacy is definitely worth having in our times.