Understanding Digital Literacy: Components, Benefits, and Improvement Efforts

Meaning of Digital Literacy – In this age of advanced technology, communication and information can be delivered quickly and easily. Good utilization of technology is actually able to help the development of important areas in the life of the community, such as education and economy. If these fields can experience progress, then the civilization of this nation can also progress.

Meaning of Digital Literacy

Then, what is the definition of digital literacy? According to Paul Gilster (2007, in Harjono) said that digital literacy is the ability to understand and use information obtained from various sources.

Meanwhile, according to Deakin University’s Graduate Learning Outcome 3, it is revealed that digital literacy is an effort to utilize technology in finding, using, and disseminating information in the digital world as it is today.

Meanwhile, according to Common Sense Media (2009, in Harjono) thinks that digital literacy includes the existence of three abilities in the form of technology utilization competence, interpreting and understanding digital content as well as assessing its credibility, researching and communicating with the right tools.

So, it can be concluded that digital literacy is an effort that individuals need in a sophisticated era like today to filter information accurately. Another effort to support digital literacy is the use of the right application and an in-depth understanding of the information obtained. Considering the impact on the spread of hoax in society is very worrying.

Bad literacy turns out to have a bad impact on the psychology of teenagers. This is because teenagers tend to be unstable and often swallow the information they receive raw without finding out the truth and accuracy of the information.

Components in Digital Literacy

The nine components are social networking, transliteracy, maintaining privacy, managing identify, creating content, organizing and sharing content, reusing/repurposing content, filtering and selecting content , and self broadcasting .

In order to better understand the nine components, let’s explain them one by one!

1. Social Networking

Nowadays, every individual must have more than one social media account, starting from Meta (Facebook), Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and WhatsApp.

The acquisition of information from social media must also be selected first. However, not everyone is careful in trying to filter the information that is spread.

The ability to utilize the features found in a social media application is basic knowledge that must be possessed by its users.

For example, those who work in the academic world make more use of social media in the form of LinkedIn to support their relationships with scholars around the world. Then, those who work in the field of marketing, take advantage of the ‘Shop’ feature in the Instagram platform to promote their products.

2. Transliteracy

This component of transliteracy is defined as an effort to utilize various platforms to create content, share it and communicate it. In this component, the ability to communicate with various social media, discussion groups, or other online services is prioritized.

3. Maintaining Privacy

Privacy is important in this digital literacy. We as social media users from various platforms must understand cyber crime . Currently, cyber crime has become rampant as the digital world develops.

What is cyber crime ? Cyber ​​crime is cyber crime that involves illegal activities using computers, digital devices or computer networks.

Examples of cyber crime that often occur are online theft via credit card ( carding ), hacking via email, to theft of personal information ( phishing ).

4. Managing Digital Identity

This fourth component, namely managing digital identity, is related to how we as platform users use identity accurately on the various social media we have.

5. Creating Content

Creating content is our skill as a platform user in making or creating content, for example PowToon, blogspot, wordpress, and other platforms .

6. Organizing and Sharing Content

Organizing and sharing content is related to how we as platform users organize and share information content so that it can be more easily disseminated to the general public. For example, the use of social bookmarking sites that are judged to facilitate the process of disseminating information and can be accessed by many internet users.

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7. Reusing/ Repurposing Content

In this component of reusing/repurposing content , prioritizing how we as platform users create or ‘reprocess’ existing content so that it can be reused as needed.

For example, a teacher creates content on Indonesian language subjects with lecture text material. The content is uploaded on the Slideshare platform , with the aim that many people download and study it.

After that, the content is ‘processed’ again by others by adding more complete new information or knowledge.

8. Filtering and Selecting Content

In this component of filtering and selecting content, we prioritize the ability to find and filter the right information according to our needs through search engines on the internet.

9. Self Broadcasting

In this component, it has the purpose of sharing interesting ideas or ideas as well as multimedia content through various platforms , for example through blogs or online forums . This Self Broadcasting can be an effort to participate in the online social community in digital literacy activities.

Benefits of Digital Literacy

The ten benefits are saving time, learning faster, saving money, making it safer, acquisition of the latest information, always connected, making better decisions, can make you want to work, be happier, and can influence the world.

To better understand, let’s listen to the description of the ten benefits!

1. Save Time

In an effort to find the information needed faster thanks to this digital literacy. For example, when you get an assignment from your teacher or lecturer to find certain information, through your digital literacy skills you can find out reliable sources of information that can then be used as a reference for your task needs.

The speed in finding the information can certainly save you time. The benefits are not only felt by students, but also by online services that provide services online so that you do not have to come and visit the service directly.

2. Learn Faster

For example, you get an assignment from your teacher or lecturer to search and find definitions of certain terms. It will feel difficult when you have to look for it in a printed glossary.

Therefore, it will be faster if you take advantage of an online platform that provides definitions of these terms.

3. Save Money

In a sophisticated era like now, it is common to find special applications that contain a comparison of discounts on a product. The application when used carefully can certainly save our production in trying to buy the product.

4. Making it Safer

The circulation of information from various sources makes it easier for us as internet users to find the right information according to our needs.

For example, when you want to go abroad, you can find information about your destination country from the internet. Information about what culture is found in your destination country or the history of its tourist attractions.

5. Acquisition of Latest Information

Applications that are on our devices often update their versions to be better, thus helping us to obtain the latest information. Through the ability of literacy in digital form, we get the latest information. However, don’t forget to check if the information is accurate or not, yes…

6. Always Connected

The existence of the internet network in the use of applications or social media makes us always feel connected to the general public, especially during the communication process. So that when you are feeling desperate, you can quickly communicate with your friend.

7. Make Better Decisions

The existence of digital literacy makes us able to search, learn, analyze and compare the information obtained. This can certainly prepare better decisions from the process of analyzing and comparing the information.

An information can be said to be something valuable if the information can influence us to act to do something.

8. Can Make You Work

In this all-digital era, the ability to operate a computer is one of the skills that everyone should have. These skills can actually help us in our daily work. For example, skills in using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Power Point, etc.

Where can you learn these skills? Of course from the information available on the internet then you read and try to operate it according to the information that has been written.

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9. Be Happier

The existence of content in the form of pictures, sound, audio-visual (video) that is spread on the internet turns out to be entertaining. Internet users who often access those contents feel happier and have an influence on their happiness.

However, not all of these contents are entertaining. Sometimes there is also content that makes people sad or even angry. As intelligent internet users, we must be careful in filtering those contents for the “well-being” of our mood.

10. Influence the World

As explained in benefit number nine before, the content available on the internet can affect its users. Yes, it’s true, whether the content is in the form of writing, pictures, or audio-visuals, it can clearly influence the thinking of its users.

The dissemination of content when properly directed can contribute to the development and change in the dynamics of social life.

When viewed from a larger scope, the dedication of a person’s thoughts spread through the internet becomes a form of expression that can later affect the life of the world, both in the present and in the future.

Digital Literacy Improvement Efforts

1. Perpusnas

The information literacy program has become part of the library service program in Indonesia. From the advancement of technology, digital information resources are becoming more and more abundant due to the large number of sources that provide the information.

Currently, the government has contributed to efforts to increase digital literacy by launching various programs.

One of them is the program developed by the National Library of the Republic of Indonesia (PNRI) with e-resources services at http://e-resources.perpusnas.go.id/ .

Not only that, the National Library of the Republic of Indonesia (PNRI) also provides digital services that of course contain various information sources in the form of journals, e-books , multimedia, manuscripts, and others.

2. ePerpus

ePerpus is a digital library service with a B2B (Business to Business) concept carried by Kompas Sinaumedia. ePerpus offers digital library management for schools, companies, institutions, and communities.  https://www.eperpus.com/home/

3. Digital Sinaumedia

Sinaumedia Digital is an ebook application with the most complete collection of books, newspapers and magazines from renowned writers and publishers. Sinaumedia Digital can be accessed via an Android or Apple smartphone or tablet. https://ebooks.Sinaumedia.com/

These efforts are carried out with the aim of making a positive contribution to the improvement of information literacy skills, especially students who are used to searching for information through Google .

However, these efforts cannot simply stop, they must be developed so that a future generation that is “reliable” in the culture of reading, writing, processing, and evaluating information in this digital era can be realized.

The Influence of Digital Literacy on Child and Adolescent Psychology

In Indonesia, the number of internet users is dominated by teenagers, so it is possible that teenagers are the most affected. According to Retnowati (2015, in Pratiwi) good use of the internet can improve the user’s performance, but when it is used badly, it can have negative effects on teenagers.

Examples that often happen nowadays are cases of defamation, bullying, and even prostitution that definitely trigger adolescent depression. Why can this happen?

Because they have not fully understood the consequences of the use of digital media. It is true that they (teenagers) have mastered literacy in the form of the ability to read and write, but they do not yet have digital literacy skills.

In the internet, many users are not shy to insult and even type rude words to other users. That is an example of the negative impact of digital literacy today. The phenomenon, when accepted by teenagers whose psychological conditions are generally not stable, can influence their emotional development in the future.

The inability of teenagers to understand digital literacy can be seen from their actions who immediately make insulting comments when there is negative information, then when there is positive information they immediately share it on their account.

So what should be done so that today’s teenagers are not easily depressed when doing digital literacy with social media? Of course, the role of parents is very important. They should be careful to monitor the behavior of teenagers.

In addition, parents should provide an understanding of digital literacy. Don’t let the advancement of technology, especially the existence of digital literacy, make the psychological state of teenagers disturbed, even to the point of depression. Therefore, let’s be smart internet users! ^^

So that you understand more about digital literacy in this era of globalization, you can read some books or references that discuss digital literacy. Come on, be an agent of change for the future!