Reading Response: Monday, March 11, 2019

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After reading Jones and Hafner’s “Understanding Digital Literacies,” there were various points that stood out, in particular the viewing of the world through a lens of mediation, “the process of using tools to take action in the world,” and medium, “something that stands between two things or people, and facilitates interaction” between the two. Through viewing the world through medium and mediation, we are able to see how tools, specifically digital tools, have open doors for exploration and communication between various audiences.

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The readers touched on a sense of autonomy that is created throughout the digital world, under their section titled “being.” Through the digital world, you are able to curate a persona in whatever form you would like, which can be completely separate from the person you actually are or one that excludes any flaws one deems detrimental or negative towards their image. Through this, the digital world may be used as a tool to fabricate a lifestyle that is attractive and appealing to outside viewers, however one that may not pertain to the reality of the individual.

As writers, Jones and Hafner worked towards finding a balance between “technological dystopianism” and “technological utopianism” in order to exemplify that the digital world is not the worst thing to happen to humans and can be kept under control, but also to show that it isn’t the best thing and it should be used with limitations. This is important because with any tool we utilize, it’s important to acknowledge that it is not perfect, and there is always room for correction to take place with the tool or moderation to be placed. For example, even the English language isn’t perfect because when it is seen as the epitome of languages it begins to erase the knowledge of others, such as Spanish speaking folks within the United States. Through this it’s important to acknowledge that English is a beneficial tool, however it should be used with consideration of various other languages that each hold their own value. The writers describe this as “mediational” process where both pros and cons are considered in order to depict an accurate image of the tool or topic at hand.

Lastly, the piece touches on “digital literacies” and specifically the benefits that accompany being digitally literate. Unlike analogue literacies, digital literacies enable you to be educated at your fingertips through various tactics such as videos, audio, typing, reading, etc. while analogue literacies are usually more physical in the need to enter a classroom or space where you’ll be learning. As well as this, digital literacies are more tangible and interactive, as various voices are heard amongst spaces, specifically on social media, where conversations are able to be had with not only those around you, but also people across the country or world. Rather than being lectured to, digital literacies are more sculpted around conversing, which makes them vastly different in their ability to teach and guide individuals.