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Digital Literacies

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Helene Kinsler sales, finance, contracts...

Digital literacies

What are they and why do we use them so much?
Has the art of conversation been lost with technology advancements?

In layman’s terms “digital literacies” refer to our ability to effectively make use of the technologies at our disposal.

In today’s environment and workplace, we are increasingly using digital technology to communicate and employers are expecting a certain amount of competence with the technology available. But is this impeding our communication skills? Even texting on mobile phones has become easier as people are using “emojis” and abbreviations to get their messages across. Text messages can however be misconstrued as the tone of the message is not displayed.

Marketing on social media sites is definitely an advantage as the audience becomes wider, but does it tell the whole story?

An office can become quiet except for the clicking of keyboards, as conversation is not needed due to a majority of tasks being done by email, databases and spreadsheets. Now in this day and age we do need these efficiencies, as they are quick and easy, and tasks can be completed with little effort, but are we putting too much emphasis on the digital age? We are all trying to save the environment by becoming paperless in all aspects of life, but are we going too far? After all, if a server fails in its entirety all records are lost; businesses can be hacked which causes untold problems (as seen with the recent Banking issues); even “Cloud” usage can have its problems. Letters are not being written, as a text message or email is easier, plus faceless! Even photographs are “photoshopped” so that they are more acceptable to all viewing them.

Progress is important to be able to keep up with the global environment, but sometimes the “old fashioned” ways can also play a part in everyday life. I often find myself thinking it “would be nice to put a face to a name” rather than just passing emails throughout the day. I also regularly write lists and comments – would you believe to update spreadsheets and databases and return emails.

So here I am, writing this blog, using a word processing package (which is doing my spell checks for me) and wondering if at some point I should get out of the office, and proceed to Market the business by good old-fashioned networking and meeting others in a similar role – or is this art now dead? I enjoy meeting people and believe by talking can gain a good rapport with others, gaining confidence within the workplace and beyond. A smile and handshake can go a long way – emojis are fun, but don’t give you the personal appeal you are looking for.

What do you think? Is constant digital usage a good thing, or should we keep some of the work practices from the past?

See you at events in the not too distant future!!