All the dogs were required to learn new tricks this past year. It doesn’t matter how old or how young you are – we all had to adapt quickly, step out of our comfort zones and venture further into the technosphere. Is that a word?
Yes, that is a word.
The technosphere includes all the ways humans have modified the environment with technology from our ancestor’s axes right up to the Bluetooth headphones built into our toques today.
2020 hurtled us all deep into the hinterlands of the technosphere. Sure, most of us were already there but we’ve all likely changed how we operate within it. There have been so many examples of advancements and improvements in workplace efficiency this year – Hello, ZOOM meetings! Studies are showing that most employees who worked from home this year would like to at continue doing so, at least partially. Unsurprisingly, most of us like working in our pajamas with our pets as co-workers.
Outside of our work lives, the internet likely has something for everyone. Making dance videos on TikTok might not be your thing but YouTube can teach you how to knit any stitch or how to fix your washer.
Social media might not seem like something that can enrich your life, but it is currently the most popular way to find and share information. No, connecting online with friends is not as meaningful as connecting in person, but it does help break the isolation blues a little.
Digital literacy refers to a person’s ability to access, understand, and even create information online in words or other media on digital platforms like email and yes, even Tik Tok.
This past year has shown us how a person needs to be digitally literate to find out about the ever-changing information. Knowing where to look and what to ask can be a challenge, and submitting information online may seem impossible.
If you’re drowning in the technosphere, reach out and ask for help.
If you’re floating by on an inner tube with an umbrella drink in your hand, offer to help the less tech-savvy people in your life with setting up devices and accounts. Also teach them to recognize some online pitfalls that can steal your money, your heart, or your dignity – just remember to respect their boundaries if they want help applying for the BC Recovery Benefit but aren’t quite ready to sign up for Instagram.
Old dogs CAN learn new tricks and all the puppies could use a trip to the library in 2021.
Kimberly Vance-Lundsbye is a Partner Assisted Learning Coordinator with the Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy.