Net literacy is vital for college students

Without a critical eye, students risk internalizing and propagating false narratives, thereby perpetuating a cycle of misinformation.| Heidi Cuevas, PantherNOW

Ariana Rodriguez | Staff Writer

In today’s internet-dominated world, being digitally literate is more than knowing how to use technology but understanding what we’re looking at. That’s why it’s vital to encourage critical thinking and skepticism online. 

While this problem has always existed online, it’s getting drastically worse. We spend more time commenting and asking for the answer to be handed out rather than seeking out the answer.

While this issue can stem from many things such as attention spans deteriorating or learned helplessness, it’s a common myth that Millenials and Gen-Z are considered “tech natives” since we grew up with the internet- but it doesn’t mean we are born with net literacy.

Net literacy is a skill we learn as we navigate and evaluate online information effectively. And as college students enter the workforce in this digital age, the need to be net literate is critical. 

In the professional world, digital skills are a must-have. Many jobs now require you to be comfortable with various software and online platforms. Whether you’re crunching numbers, making presentations or collaborating with colleagues being digitally literate makes it all smoother. 

The internet is a treasure trove of information- but it’s also a maze. 

Without knowing how to separate fact from fiction, students can struggle to find reliable sources for their research or make informed decisions. 

The prevalence of social media influencers and viral trends on platforms like TikTok underscores the importance of exercising discernment. While these platforms can be entertaining and engaging, they often perpetuate myths, stereotypes and misinformation. 

Without a critical eye, students risk internalizing and propagating false narratives, thereby perpetuating a cycle of misinformation.

In an age where misinformation spreads like wildfire, the ability to verify sources and evaluate the reliability of content is indispensable. College students, as the future leaders and decision-makers of society, must possess the skills to navigate this digital abyss with caution.

Overall, net literacy is not merely a practical skill—it’s a necessity of education in the 21st century. 

By prioritizing net literacy, students can equip themselves with the tools they need to thrive in both their academic pursuits and future careers.

DISCLAIMER:

The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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