Author: Veronica Michelle Lie
Nowadays, it is almost impossible to imagine a life without the Internet. Probably, a whole new generation does not even know about life ‘before connecting with digital world’. Internet has become a household necessity. It is a versatile network that connects people from all over the world without moving geographically. It was used as a source of entertainment, but due to the pandemic, now it is impossible to work in an office or study without the internet. It is not only internet that becomes something we need, but technology also shows itself that we are nothing without it. Computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones are not merely for fun and used in our leisure anymore. They are now being heavily used in the sector of education. We are spoiled by having the internet. By clicking only one tab or write the key word from google, we can get many more information we want to. Even, we do not have to go to grocery store to buy vegetables, fruits or our daily needs, we can use our gadget and the internet we have, then those stuffs will be in front of us right away.
The advancement of technology brings both positive and negative impacts for us. If the positive ones, we have already discussed it before, now let’s take a closer look for the negative sides. We have to realize that we are living in the competitive world. It means that we have to equip ourselves with skills and enough knowledge competence in life aspects and good communication. According to the UNESCO’s data, Indonesian literacy world is in the second rank from the bottom (1). It means that 0,001%or among 1000 Indonesian, only 1 person who is diligent to read and this is not a good news for us.
Literacy is an important skill to read, write, and to communicate. It plays a big role to intensify people’s knowledge, communication and information comprehension skills. In the past, people needed physical books to read or to write. Thanks to the era revolution now, literacy is made easily by the existence of technologies, such as the internet. Because of the advancing technologies, digital literacy is interpreted as the survival skill in the digital era (2). New technologies and developments are transforming the way that individuals, groups and societies communicate, learn, work and govern. This new socio-technical reality requires persons to possess not only skills and abilities related to the use of technological tools, but also knowledge regarding the norms and practices of appropriate usage. To advance our digital literacy, it is compulsory to master in English. These days, social medias, college, business, and many more life aspects required English skills. Some of them even use English as their main language.
There are many benefits that we can obtain by learning English. We can improve our skills in reading and writing. Writing helps us build a good communication skill and makes us think critically. It expresses who we are as a person. It fosters our ability to explain and refine our ideas to others and ourselves. We even will not have a history, without writing, will we? Remember, that ‘history is written by the victors’ as a popular said. People often say that we learn to write best is by reading. Reading in English is useful in many ways. As we know, it has been proven that reading makes us smarter. Readers display greater knowledge of how things work, vocabulary and language development, as well as information on people, places and things. Another reason is, by reading, it helps our imagination when it comes to create and think. We are supposed to paint many wonderful things in pour mind. Books can take us anywhere we want to go.
On the internet, there are lots of information written in Indonesia, but sources that use English tend to have deeper discussions of the topic. Improvisation of cognitive thinking skill is another benefit that we get. People that learn foreign language, including English, have better memory (3). As the young generation, of course we do not want to be left behind. We should be able to know how to use the internet and keep updating with the international sources.
Due to globalization, our lives cannot be dissociated from the internet. In January 2021, there are 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide (4). In this modern era, internet is here for us 24/7. As the young generation, we use the internet for the key to the information. That is why digital literacy is an obligated skill for living nowadays. It is the ability to find, evaluate, and use the information found on the internet. This also includes the ability to communicate clearly through virtual media, knowledge of basic internet safety, and how to use the internet wisely (5). One of the ways to use the internet wisely is by learning English. English learners can share, gain, and do more things in the world of digital literacy. There are many sources that could help us study English. We learn not only from books, but surf some information or news from the internet will help us get better understanding about English. Mastering English means that we could expand our online connections or networking to all over the world. This is one of the positive ways to advance our digital literacy (6). By expanding our networking, we can make mutual relations from around the world. Hence, this can amplify our communication skills. It does not stop only this, English learners can also share their English skills in the form of digital contents such as videos, literatures, websites, and many more to the internet which can be seen and used by people worldwide. We can still up to date use technology, as well as improving our skills in English. So, many benefits we can take from learning English, right?
Learning English is made easily by the existence of the internet, compared to the past time where we had to get the lesson from school. English is the language of choice for communication online. It also helps us stay up to date to the latest news and trending topics, especially for the international ones. Since the internet is easily accessible, we need the skill to be able to utilize it wisely and to get qualified human resources in the world of digital literacy. Remember that literacy does not mean only to read and write, but it is an ability to identify, decide, find, evaluate and create effectively and communicate reliable information to others. Digital literacy could intensify people’s knowledge and their thinking skill. By having digital literacy, we also equip ourselves with technology. Technology is having a huge impact on education and the way we learn, and English language learning sector is no exception. As the next country’s generation, we have to be brave to face and adapt any challenging occurs in order to make our country development better.
Veronica Michelle Lie
SMAK Plus PENEBUR Cirebon
- (2019). Pentingnya Literasi untuk generasi muda Indonesia. Retrieved October 6th, 2021 from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1264169.pdf
- (2021). 5 Alasan Kenapa Menguasai Bahasa Inggris Penting untuk Peluang Karier yang Lebih Baik. Retrieved October 6th, 2021 fromhttps://arkademi.com/5-alasan-kenapa-menguasai-bahasa- inggris-penting/
- Joseph. (2021). Global digital population as of January 2021. Retrieved October 6th, 2021 from https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/
- (2019). What is digital literacy and why does it matter? Retrieved October 6th, 2021 from https://www.renaissance.com/2019/02/08/blog-digital-literacy-why-does-it-matter/
- (2020). Pentingnya Bahasa Inggris Dalam Literasi Digital. Retrieved October 6th, 2021 from https://www.fadlimia.com/2020/10/bahasa-Inggris-dan-literasi-digital.html
- Video: “Digital Literacy – What is Digital Literacy?” by BBC Learning English. https://youtu.be/_LElWqXi7Ag