Written by Jasminder Khehra

Digital technology plays a major and essential role in our modern world. It has transformed the way we communicate with others and it is rare to find an electronic device or piece of machinery that incorporates digital technology. Digital technologies include electronic tools, automatic systems, technological devices and resources that create, store, or analyze information. For instance, social media, mobile phones, the internet, and streaming services are some common examples of digital technologies.

There are many advantages that come with digital technology. It allows for social connectivity, making it easier to keep in touch with our friends and loved ones. It has made information more accessible and we can search for anything at any time. Digital technology has also made it easier to store massive amounts of information in relatively small spaces.

However, with these benefits of digital technology, there are several disadvantages. There are online privacy concerns, issues of data security, increased misinformation through online sharing, and digital media manipulation. Yet, these disadvantages can be managed with the assistance of digital literacy.

What is Digital Literacy?

Digital literacy refers to having the ability to successfully navigate an online world within digital technologies and understanding where online information comes from. Individuals with digital literacy skills know the basics of internet safety and what types of information sources are valid. It is important to be digitally literate in the online age in order to use digital technology safely and avoid any potential risks. 

There are many resources available online to help individuals become more digitally literate. MediaSmarts is a Canadian non-profit organization that focuses on digital and media literacy programs and resources. While most of their website content is designed for youth students to promote digital and media literacy, it is an educational tool for all ages. Click here to be directed to their website.

Other Resources

Click here to access a video playlist by MediaSmarts that reviews the basics of digital literacy.

Check out the previous HAC digital literacy blog posts: How to Find Senior Services (online) and How to Stay Safe Online.