Monday, February 17, 2014

The Illiterate of the 21st Century


"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."-Alvin Toffler 

According to the definition of illiterate, the word refers to a person who cannot read or write. However, I wonder if this definition is restrictive in the sense that it only refers to books. Now here is the question that I want to ask: can someone be illiterate in any other way other than just books? The answer is, yes!

Now we've all seen an older person who types with their face about an inch away from the screen and occasionally types at approximately 1 mph. Or the person who sees an IPad and uses all five fingers to navigate. And the examples go on and on. I would label all these people computer illiterate, or better yet technology illiterate. However, who does the blame lie upon, these people or the type of education that they experienced who failed to integrate them and equip them with the skills needed to survive this society's advancement? I can't imagine how much pain someone goes through when they can't use a certain type of technology. To feel left out, and left on your own to figure things out. But we can't point the finger at them. The level of blame is too intricate and too deep. 

When I came across the quote at the top, a seed of hope was planted in me. Even though there will be a lot of time invested in catching these types of people up (technology illiterate people that is) with current trends, there is still a piece of hope. A hope to revive them into society. A hope to learn something new, while unlearning a habit of not trying. A hope to relearn something you should have known, and have the right to know as a citizen of a global world. 

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