Where are all the other people, what am I supposed to do, how can I follow all the chats, which chats should I follow, which tools am I supposed to use, is something happening on other tools or sites that I don’t have or understand how to use? What is going on? There are so many things I don’t understand. Information overload! For example on webinar people will write in the chat “@ida”. Why, what does this mean? It seems like everyone knows what this means except me. So far I feel that my digital literacy are limited to what JISC guide (2014) refer to as information literacy, learning skills and ICT literacy, meaning that I am a visitor, I am mostly a user, not a producer of digital content.
This is pretty much my feelings after the first weeks of the ONL-course on digital literacy. Besides from that I am a really sceptic in regard to social media in the first place, I don’t even have a Facebook account. Yes, indeed, I am a visitor at the web unlike a resident, a distinction used by White (2014) to explained people’s engagement with the web. My relationship to the web is what Mörtsell in a Webinar termed traditional, in contrast to non-traditional, meaning that it can help me to do the things I do in my daily life with some easier tools, rather than changing my activities and ways of communicating. I “understand the Web as akin to a unity garden tool shed” (White and Le Cornu, 2011), taking the tools I need to achieve my goal, and go somewhere else to use them, both on the personal and the institutional spectrum (White 2014). I send letters digitally, instead of physically, I read articles and books digitally rather than in a binder, I look up information at google rather than using the encyclopedia, I read the newspaper online instead of on paper, and I book my flights, hotels, concert etc. online instead of taking that phone call. The internet has not really changed my habits, or innovated how I communicate or react with the world socially or professionally, I rather do as I always have done, only with a new set of tools located inside the computer.
Getting beyond this attitude, behavior and skepticism will be a challenge for me. What do I need all these tools for, can I learn how to master them, and how can I keep my private life intact while at the same time using these tools? I think I want to stay a visitor, but on the way picking up tools that will enlighten my visits. I might sound negative, while I am at the moment probably most confused.
White, David and Le Cornu, Alison (2011): “Visitors and Residents: A New Typology for Online Engagement” in, First Monday, Vol. 16, no. 9.
Developing digital literacies (2014) JISC guide. Available here