Throughout my high school and college years, I have written countless essays, articles, discussion posts, and journal entries about the “digital generation,” the Digital Divide, and digital literacy. Throughout my research, I noticed that all of the topics have one thing in common: The central idea that we live in a society surrounded by technology dependent people. This concept, however, creates the assumption that these “technology dependent” people are experts on how to use every digital device to its fullest potential. I am here to tell you, that this assumption is far from true. The reality is, our generation may have grown up in the age of technology, but aside from a select few, we are far from tech-savvy.
Growing up I was always under the impression that I was good with computers. I was exposed to them at an early age and just assumed that I understood every aspect there really was to know. Wrong. After being assigned a Computer Fundamentals for Business course, I realized how much of a novice I really am. I could barely figure out how to work a spread sheet, let alone how to use a Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to create a website. To clarify, I was not the only one who struggled. My entire class had to face the reality that we are no more tech-savvy than the generation before us.
Tech-savvy people are experts who fully understand not only how to use a device to its full potential, but the technology behind that device that makes it function. Our generation was not taught these skills. We were simply handed devices and told to use them. Not to mention, our society forgets that not all people had the privilege or means of growing up with technology, excluding a major group from the so-called “digital generation.” Just because our generation grew up with technology, doesn’t mean we know how to use it. We may be a “digital generation” by means of technology availability, but not because we are experts in the field.