Learning to Thrive Online

After reading Networked by Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman I am left with a few questions. Chapter 10 poses a very important issue with using social media and online resources to become a networked individual – knowing how to use it. It seems so simple, stupid almost to assume that people are using online resources and platforms without knowing how to use them properly but yet it is happening all around us, all the time.

We don’t often stop to think about how different the “online” world is from the “real” world, but if we do I am sure we would all realize that the list goes on and on. We can connect with people whom we have never met, who may live on another continent and we can get real news that is happening right this second on our news feed. Without these advancements in how we use digital literacy and online media we would be stuck waiting for a newspaper to be delivered to our doorsteps every morning, and connecting with friends and family from other cities and states via phone calls and letters.

Being able to network online provides numerous benefits, but its not often that people stop to think of the negative effects if they are never taught how to use these resources. Rainie and Wellman say “the variety of information sources has boomed; the velocity of information is accelerating, especially at the level of personal news and niche communities” (255). It is because of these things that people now expect to know what is going on in the exact moment in which it is going on.

That being said, I wonder what are some ways that we can educate the masses on how to use these platforms? It is true that the information is already out there if people wanted to take the time to educate themselves on how to use these things if they wanted to, but I wonder if there are fun ways to teach people how to network on use digital literacy in a more effective manner? Wouldn’t it be funny to create a class video based on satire and humor to teach the basics on being online and networking?

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One thought on “Learning to Thrive Online

  1. janevangalen says:

    I’m thinking that all of our authors would anticipate that someone will eventually make a series like this (and it would be great) and send it out through whatever networks that they have built. I’m seeing so many people contributing to understanding of “fake new” and how to spot it — it’s been very encouraging to see how generous people are in creating materials for teaching children and adults how to sift through the flood of information we now encounter.

    Liked by 1 person

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