I, as I’m sure the vast majority of people in my generation can say, is that we have most of these digital literacy skills and have honed them long ago. We grew up alongside the development of the world wide web, almost simultaneously enough that it’s eerie. As our brains developed and our neurons forged new networks, the internet and technology grew from basic operating systems and Web 1.0 sites to advanced operating systems (in different form factors; desktops, laptops, phones, televisions) and the social web, Web 2.0. From growing up with Google and literally watching the birth of social networking websites, my ability to survey a large amount of information and pick out what’s relevant and what’s spam is second nature now. We as a generation were born into this developing technology and, as such, have trained our brains to easily work with it and hone our skills in digital literacy.
However, I believe we may have gained these skills at the expense of others. The way we focus our attention is much different than generations behind us. We’re wired to pay attention to many different spurts of information rather than one thing in front of us. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Google have all paved way for our brains to experience information in a different manner. As such, when it’s time to focus on one thing, a lot of people (including me) can have a hard time giving it our undivided attention. In an era where any piece of information is readily accessible, if we find ourselves watching or reading something that’s uninteresting, we don’t have to continue doing it, at least not fully. If I find a class boring, I can easily unlock my phone and engross myself in other types of information and media. The ability to focus on one thing, especially something that I don’t find particularly interesting, is something I’d really like to work on.