Ever wonder what your screen time says about you? Whether you grew up with a family computer, never had a cell phone, or went to a school with little technological resources, you likely interact with technology in a different way than the people around you. As we continue to sprint full-speed ahead into a hyper-connected society driven by the digital world, incorporating more on-screen learning opportunities to strengthen digital skills and increase civic impact will be necessary to reach those who may not be as equipped. It’s difficult to ignore the importance of incorporating digital media into our lives and ultimately our educational framework. Luckily, educators in formal school settings have already begun to recognize the importance of meeting young people where they’re at to help them become well-polished and mobilized digital citizens. With this new-found curriculum comes an even greater opportunity for young people to help the older people in their lives become well-polished and mobilized digital citizens.
The societal shift towards incorporating more technology in the last 10-15 years has particularly affected Millennials and Gen Z. As a millennial myself, I have always been very aware of the differing digital literacies between people my age and our parents and it really comes down to familiarity. I still help my parents with their “computer things” to this day.When I was growing up I spent a lot of time on screen playing educational computer games like Jumpstart, which is ultimately how my digital skills evolved. Learning how to navigate a game portal on a computer at a young age was kind of like learning a new language; they say that kids are like sponges and it’s so true!
What if Millennials and Gen Z could take what we have learned about the digital landscape and teach the adults in our lives to become more comfortable with technologies? DoSomething, a “digital platform powering offline action”, has once again encouraged young people to explore opportunity that enables them use their digital skills for good with their new campaign, Untangle the Web:
“With scams, fraud, and misinformation, the internet can be a treacherous place for both younger and older generations. The good news is, we can foster intergenerational conversations and empower each other to be our best selves online.
Take our quiz to find your strengths online. Based on your results, we’ll give you a customized action guide to start the conversation with an adult about being safe and responsible online. Take action by April 30 and you could even win a $5,000 scholarship!”
After completing the quiz, you will be given an online persona of either Style Icon, News Detective, Social Change Champion, Ray of Sunshine, or Secret Agent. Each online persona is provided with a unique guide to start a conversation with an adult to encourage their digital participation. For example, if your quiz results led you to the News Detective persona, your guide would provide you with information about finding factual information online, a very useful lesson for anyone interacting with digital media!
Learning what our screen time says about millennials and gen z and how we interact with the social space can prepare us to influence other generations in a positive, inclusive way. Creating these on-screen learning opportunities for our peers who didn’t grow up with the technologies that we did is just as important as incorporating digital literacy lessons into the educational system in our country. We need schools and social impact organizations like DoSomething to be prepared to teach society how to be digitally engaged.