The Microwave Generation and the Effects on American Literacy
In an age of technology, literacy in America has increased from technology advances, higher educational standards, and stringent work requirements. In today’s world people are immersed in technology. Has this made our nation illiterate? Or has literacy increased from generations?
The meaning of literacy has changed throughout time and throughout different cultures. Literacy is not only the ability to read and write, but also to comprehend. The age of information has had a positive effect on American literacy and it appears this trend will continue for future generations. Technology Effect
Technology has changed literacy. In this technical world, one must improve their information literacy skill. Information literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information (Burke, 2010). Technology has changed the way we learn, write, research, communicate, read, listen to music, and work.
Home computers started to become more common to own in the 1980s, while the internet became commercialized in 1995 (Wikipedia, 2013). Since the commercialization of the internet, technology has boomed. Not so long ago, literacy was achieved by people attending school and learning from books. Now with a change of time, literacy is now being known as information literacy. Literacy in the information age can be defined as the ability to acquire and utilize knowledge, skills, and other resources to facilitate learning. The development of literacy in the information age is the result of reflecting on past learned literacy for solutions to current and future questions (Devers, 2007, pg.1). Written Communication
There are two forms of writing formal and informal. Formal writing is used academically or professionally. While informal writing is often used in email, social networking sites, and text messaging. “The tone, vocabulary, and syntax, all change as the occasion changes; The differences in the styles of writing between formality and informality, or the difference between formal and informal writing” (formal and informal, n.d., pg.1). People choose to write electronically because it is usually more convenient, time efficient, and provides a grammar corrector. Even though there are the benefits of electronic communication, there are negatives as a result, such as text talk. Text Slang
Text talk is when people abbreviate or shorten most of their words so they can write faster shorter messages. An example would be ‘OMG Y U R L8’. Professor David Crystal suggests that the use of short words will have negative effects on spelling abilities and language as a whole (Crystal, 2008). The main component of writing is that the writer be clear, concise, and grammatically correct. So the reader can not only understand the message but get that information as quickly as possible. Some might conclude that because communicating has changed that people have become more illiterate. However, it appears the forms of communication have just expanded and the definition of literacy is expanding as well. Changes in the Written Word
Through the ages, the written word provided direction, historical data, and expression. In an age filled with technological advances, one could deduce a decrease in literacy. Rather, the vast amounts of information are available to a greater population through the internet. People are assimilating information at a faster rate and reading more through social networking, personal messaging, and casual internet browsing. The result is an increasing literacy rate. Books are evolving with technology into electronic books. With the economy down fall book sales have been declining, while electronic book sales are at an all-time high (Indvik, 2012). For the first time electronic book sales have made more money than adult hard cover and paperback books (Indvik, 2012). Popular electronic book...
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