Saturday, 6 July 2013

Get Web Literate

Online Africa would like to share with whom it may concern, that SEARCH is the most useful activity you can ever do on the internet.
I think it is unfortunate that most of us in Africa spend so much time chatting and arguing on social networks, and fail to realize how much learning we are actually missing as a result.

As a trained journalist (of the University Of Lagos department of Mass Communication) I have to strongly reiterate that popular saying that you all know so well....
"Information is power". 
And these days, it is absolutely free of charge.

Funny enough, I remember a while ago, when a former boss of mine bragged to me about his son, saying the boy was an "internet guru". 
It turned out the boy spent all of his time downloading hip hop tracks from Limewire, and listening to the Dudu Radio service. 
He had no programming skills. 
Plus he confessed that he had never done any kind of coding whatsoever.

So I realized that his father had thought he was guru because of how many hours of the day he spent on the computer he had bought for him, and how much it was keeping him in the house, instead of going out with his friends. But the most interesting thing about this story is that that man is not the only person making such a mistake. 
Most of us assume someone is very "good with computers" simply because we see them spending a lot of time with computers, or we see them use the internet often.

Yet if the only thing you are doing on the internet is to send and recieve your emails, or you're looking at your friends' photos on Facebook, or listening to music on Spotify or Youtube, then to be very honest, you are NOT an internet expert, or even enthusiast. 
And I dare say, you shouldn't even be fully regarded as being web-literate. 
The internet is primarily a gigantic global resource for knowledge and informarion. And it has also become a wonderful platform for e-commerce, and opportunity for entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals. But how can you understand what I am saying if you have not been truly excercising your right to SURF the internet? Your right to power. 
If we in Africa are limiting ourselves to chat rooms, or uploading photos from our mobile devices, then how will we be able to take advantage of all the knowledge and information available on the web? Seriously? 
Think about it, and ask me questions if you like.
I'm here to help, really!
You can submit your questions in the online community....Online Africa.

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