Ways To Promote Digital Literacy In The Era Of Misinformation & Disinformation

Ways To Promote Digital Literacy In The Era Of Misinformation & Disinformation

Shilpa Bhatia, Director - Marketing & Sales, SRV Media, 0

An IIM Lucknow alumnus, Shilpa has over a decade experience working with companies such as CL Educate, GirnarSoft and Imarticus Learning, prior to joining SRV Media in 2019.

In today's world, being digitally literate is more important than anything else. Digital literacy is all about the range of skills, behaviors, and habits one has in the digital space. The dynamics of communications have changed drastically over the years. Ever since the internet came into existence, the evolution of communication and networking has been enhanced with time. Earlier, it was only about how one can master the use of computers; but now, it is about hundreds of gadgets and technologies like smartphones, tablets, laptops, virtual realities, the internet, and much more. Along with every tiny detail, it is necessary to have the ability to evaluate, recognize and process the data/information one receives in the digital space. Information analysis and segregation is the need of the hour.

Digital space is never free of users. With every tick of the clock, it provides personal and professional satisfaction to everyone who is out there. Considering the current era, where the digital space is gullible as well as vulnerable, people consume a lot of data and information which is unnecessary and unfiltered, furthermore providing room for the existence of misinformation. Though, all that could be looked upon by digital literacy. Besides anything, there is a need to have the digital literacy quotient up by numbers right now, or else many countries could fall back on the survival pyramid.

Discussing the digitally literate segregation system, Estonia is said to be the first digitally literate country in the world. And many countries are inbound for the completion of digital literacy. Heavily populated countries are yet to gain on the numbers depending upon the development of the respective countries. Being a digitally literate country is the task of the hour because it helps the country to eliminate distress as well as serve various types of advantages over others. A digital literate country has some advantages over the others:
·Fast ·learning citizens
·Safety and awareness maintenance
· Information segregation is easier
· Increases the chance of employment
· Influential towards advancement
· Increased and enhanced inter-connectivity
As surveyed by Digital Empowerment Foundation, 90 percent of the Indian population is digitally illiterate. The country has been working towards various programs to improve the ratio of digital literacy. But it all depends upon the citizens and how they deal with the misinformation era. Although, there are some ways to promote digital literacy effectively:

· Exploring Information: Search, discover, and rectify the authenticity of every piece of information. It is never enough to get information from a single source and then reacting upon it. One should explore digital culture from the digital space itself. It is the ethical duty of every user to check for authentic information in the digital space by exploring each and every source.

· Find the Ones Just Like Yourself: It is easier to learn when one has company. Forming a community of enthusiastic people can enhance learning a lot more than a single person, maybe even school each other in a better way than ever. Also, forming communities is easier than ever in this digital era. Using social media platforms like Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, and creating forums like Quora and Reddit can be used for the greater good. Forming groups or communities will help eliminate the malicious information and authenticate real information at the same time.

·Segregation of Authenticated Information Using Authority: There is vast authentic information in the digital space which is mostly overshadowed by malicious misinformation. It is upon us to report the misinformation so that the actual authentic information can rise above. Hence, using cyber cells and authority cross-checking is a necessary practice to keep.

· Cross-Checking with Proper Sources & Spreading the Word: Spreading misinformation is as fast as one can imagine. So, in order to stop the malpractice, one needs to cross-check with sources and then spread the word. The practice of cross-checking with authorized as well as authenticated sources and then spreading the information is extremely vital in this era. Also, it all depends on the credibility of the sources, so choosing the right source is the prior objective.

Digital space has given mankind a lot of positives, but the negatives are engulfing the essence of the whole existence of the space itself. Thus, digital literacy is a serious issue as the days progress, and mankind needs to break through the monotonous religious belief in misinformation. Not only is incorrect information harmful, but is a major cause of distress. Eliminating digital illiteracy is a social issue being worked on currently in many countries, but it demands a process and cooperative alliance from its citizens.