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July 23, 2012

Are You a Digital Citizen?

Filed under: General HR Buzz9:38 am

As a Baby Boomer /Gen Y (depending what time charts you refer to), I vividly remember the advent of computers, cell phones and social media. My first experience with a computer was at my first official job after college. It was big, clunky, very slow, and DOS based. The DOS commands are forever engrained in my brain. At that age, I was the “young” person in the office and so excited to learn about Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect!

Fast forward 30 years, I realize I may be a little behind the times as I was reminded when I ran across a new term that I wasn’t familiar with. That term is “digital literacy”. According to Wikipedia, the definition of digital literacy is the ability to locate, organize, understand, evaluate, and analyze information using digital technology. Wikipedia goes on to say “It involves a working knowledge of current high-technology, and an understanding of how it can be used. Further, digital literacy involves a consciousness of the technological forces that affect culture and human behavior. Digitally literate people can communicate and work more efficiently, especially with those who possess the same knowledge and skills.”

The technology referred to includes computer hardware, software, the Internet, and cell phones. And someone who uses these skills to interact with society may be called a digital citizen. I don’t know if this is a term we will start seeing on resumes, but it made me wonder if the following will soon be a question we ask during interviews: “Do you consider yourself to be digitally literate and a digital citizen?”

These are undoubtedly skill sets that are essential for most jobs in the workplace. Just as filing, using the 10-key, and handwriting were important at one time, these new skills have risen to a point of necessity in most every job. If you are interested in reading more about this, there are other resources available:

  • Digital– U.S. Department of Labor website titled as “your destination for digital literacy resources and collaboration
  • Microsoft Digital Literacy – providing a curriculum to help develop a fundamental understanding of computers

Even as a Baby Boomer, I believe I am a digital citizen, even if in the entry level of the definition.


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