Literacy in a Digital Age

11 Jul

               Welcome to the first “Musings”.  Every Monday Rebecca or I will write a little thoughtMy-Musings about a variety of topics from living in Mexico City as missionaries. These posts will cover a wide variety of topics including Life in Mexico, Missions, Social Subjects etc. Subscribe to this feed to be reminded each Monday and follow our lives here in Mexico City.

This week we will start with a subject that my assistant Gerardo and I were talking about recently and the more we talked the more I became convinced that we are seeing a phenomenon in our culture and I believe that you can probably identify in your culture where you live as well.

Literacy in a Digital Agedigitalwordcloud.png

            Gerardo and I were amazed at how students of our Bible Institute seemed to struggle with basic literacy. Many of our students are millenials  (reaching young adulthood in 2000) or even younger (in their teens or early twenties). In our church we also have a handful of people who do not know how to read or write! We began to realize that although some of these people come from little towns “pueblitos” where they began to work at an early age and as a result have not finished even grade school, there were some who come from families who have pushed their children to study hard and they are in high school (preparatorio) or college (Universidad).

             Here is a good article on literacy in Mexico.

              I began to think about the fact that part of the problem in this digital age is that we are being “dumbed” down by the technology that is supposed to be showing we are smarter or more advanced. The more someone is involved in technology (can’t release the “smart phone” from their hands and fingertips) the more it seems that they are less intelligent, have less social etiquette and even if its possible losing to a degree their literacy.

thYB3P975X   Have you ever noticed that phones, tablets and computers make things “easier” for us by auto correcting a word or phrase, adding punctuation marks, or in Spanish adding accent marks. All of this makes it easier for us IN THE MOMENT to write our communication in a faster more efficient way. Some people do their very best to “CORRECT” the auto correction when they see that it changed what they were intending to say and make very few final mistakes in their written communication. Have you also noticed that many use “voice to text” technology which is honestly awesome especially if you are driving a vehicle! But have you ever had someone send you a message and you honestly think they might be out of their mind. You can’t make sense of what they sent you.

So many people don’t “CORRECT” the auto correction and are digitally lazy to write orthographically correct communication. Also so many of us are losing the ability to “CORRECT” our communication because the technology has done it for us for so long (if we are older) or has done it for us our whole lives (if we are younger).

We also have identified that the next generation does not read books. And as you might know reading is very important to opening up the mind and intellectual growth.

As church leadership we have decided to offer a Spanish class to teach and correct the reading and writing skills of our people. But it really comes down to each individual being diligent to “use” technology and be careful to not let it “dumb” us by reading books, practicing writing and correcting our own writing carefully which will keep our minds sharp and help us combat the illiteracy in this digital age.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly diving the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15

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