Think you are digitally literate? Let’s take a quiz to see:
Give yourself one point for each form of digital technology listed below if you can honestly say you are a real pro (or at least pretty competent):
• Texting, chatting and instant messaging
• I am very good at two or more elements of the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PPT, Excel, PUB, OneNote)
• I participate in discussion forums and media sharing
• I have used online telecommunications application software with video chat tools like Skype and can initiate a discussion without pulling out my hair
• I create content that I post on the Web or regularly repost interesting content I find on the Web
• I utilize cloud computing
• I regularly use smart phone features other than telephone
• I have used Quicken, QuickBooks or other accounting and business software
• I have taken at least three online courses
• I blog or read blogs regularly
• I download content from the Web to an MP3 or iPod/iPad device for regular listening
• I have a digital dashboard
• I have more than one user generated online profile
• I regularly use at least two of these platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+
• I have participated in a crowdsourcing event or I know what the term crowdsourcing means
How did you do?
Checked 13 to 16 items? You are a digital pro! Congratulations! You have been paying attention to the changing world.
Checked 8 to 12 items? Good job! You have room to improve but you know how to handle yourself around some pretty complicated modern technology.
Checked less than 8? Sorry but you need to improve your digital literacy to get ahead in the modern work world. Some might even call you digitally illiterate. Harsh!
In an interesting recent article, “How Much is Digital Illiteracy Costing Your Organization?” Courtney Hunt describes digital illiteracy as a lack of basic knowledge, understanding or ability to leverage digital technology effectively. She says digital illiteracy wastes co-workers’ time, sub optimizes work product, causes rework, as well as inefficient and ineffective communication. Many organizations point to low adoption and utilization rates of new initiatives due to people’s lack of knowledge and skills which undermines productivity.
Are you digitally illiterate? If you cannot tackle most of the items included in that little quiz with gusto and skill or at least with honest curiosity then you are adding to business inefficiency. You will lag behind your co-workers. They will have to support you in ways that distract from their own work.
If you are a job seeker and you are not digitally literate you have BIG problems. Hiring managers are reluctant to hire people who cannot keep up with the other members of the team who are more skilled at the items in that little quiz. Don’t think you can hide it either. A quick check of your LinkedIn profile will give you away.
Here is a simple solution. Make a concerted effort to learn. Find a teenager to show you how to use your smartphone. Get on social media and start talking to people. Take an online class. Use the tutorials in YouTube. Create a blog and share your thoughts about life and work issues. Repost interesting content (i.e. articles) you find while reading on the Internet including Flipboard or Yahoo or even AOL.