The Importance of Holistic Literacy Skills in Access to Information and Netiquette on the Internet:

Reflecting on the 28th of September as an International Day for Universal Access to Information, I realized how I revere information technology and internet access for creating and sharing information. I didn’t grow up exposed to information technology as it is now. Just a click of a button to access information. And the power to create and contribute ideas. That can build other people to be themselves and be the best they can be and contribute to making the world a better place to live, learn, work and do business.

As helpful and wonderful as technology and access to information is. There have been complaints about cyberbullying and trolling on the internet. A thing that should not happen with a proper education that grooms young people and adults the best way of understanding who they are and how best they should be the best of themselves to contribute to making the world a better place to live, learn, work and do business. Fortunately, I have never directly encountered cyberbullying and trolling except spamming on my websites.

 I have only slightly felt it indirectly on my social media marketing posts when someone commented, ‘’If you cannot sell it locally, forget about marketing it globally.’’ That is a limiting derogatory comment that does not reflect Thinking differently’ as Apple founder Steve Jobs coined, and thinking globally as most creative entrepreneurs do. That remark was from a traditional-minded senior business owner who believes in the brick-and-mortar business model of the industrial period where business meant local physical business with no sense of being digital and growing into a global brand.

This blog post will explore how holistic literacy skills can help practice netiquette to eliminate cyberbullying and trolling in accessing and utilizing information technology. Netiquette is proper manners and behavior online. That is as good as etiquette and good manners offline. Here is how the Holistic Literacy Program plays a role in information technology for promoting netiquette for a better user experience for everyone online worldwide. Before going deeper with netiquette and good manners, let’s look at cyberbullying and trolling.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is using electronic communication to bully a person by sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, fake, and mean content about someone else or sharing their personal or private life. Therefore, from that definition, we can see that cyberbullying happens over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. So, it is like technology in the wrong hands and content creation confusion and crisis due to a lack of holistic understanding of technology and the digital literacy to use it with some good sense of being a digital global citizen. Most victims of cyberbullying are women and teenage girls.

From my own experience and reading about other people’s experiences of being bullied online and offline. I would define cyberbullying ‘’as technology in the wrong hands that result in misuse of online platforms by harassing, intimidating and spamming innocent and vulnerable people online to play down their efforts and their dreams online.’’ That way discouraging them from being themselves and being the best, they can be online for fulfilling their dreams. YouTube used to be flooded with derogatory comments when it was not as crowded as it is today. Maybe those trolls have since learned that one can make a living creating videos on YouTube.

What is Trolling?

Trolling is another form of cyberbullying by an online or internet bully who deliberately posts abusive, hurtful comments across social media platforms like Facebook posts, blogs, YouTube videos, or forums and social media channels like Twitter and Instagram. That is as bad as sexual harassment and abuse. That is narcissist behavior online, where these trollers are not quite sure of their purpose of being online on any platform and what they should be doing online. So, this mindset boils down to making them believe that everyone online, whether male or female, is looking for attention, not to fulfill a purpose in line with their career dreams.

Again, it boils down to the concept of technology in the wrong hands and the misconception of content creation and sharing. That ends up making these trollers seek sexual attention through silly comments and emojis that are far from the intention of the expected response. Some remarks are negative to discourage and attack the victim they might be attracted to or seeking attention.

Trolls can be outrageous and offensive by provoking readers into displaying emotional responses or manipulating other readers’ perceptions of their target victim. That is trolling for opposing the victim with deliberate posts of inflammatory, irrelevant, offensive comments and other disruptive content to annoy and incite rage against someone. Looking at how it happens and why they do it, I think holistic literacy skills would help in guidance and counseling from such behavior. Here is how the Holistic Literacy Program can help cyberbullies and trolls by healing their troubled souls and hearts online.

Holistic Literacy Skills as Solutions:

Basic Literacy

The ability to read and understand your responsibilities in life and business is the starting point of knowing how to act responsibly on each platform you decide to use. If you do not understand any basic instruction offline or online and the best way you can utilize any technology around you, you might end up abusing it. Like a smartphone, you might end up using it for pornographic, graffiti, spamming, and anything that does not contribute to your growth and development as a human being. That is why basic literacy skills are necessary, as presented by the Holistic Literacy Program.

The ability to read and understand anything can be liberating. It makes you understand and appreciate technological gadgets like smartphones, computers, or tablets. And have the power to use your mind to create something useful that can better your life, not using it for cyberbullying, trolling, or spamming anyone. Basic Literacy skills will help create content that helps other people rather than abusive content for cyberbullying and trolling.

Social Literacy

Any well-groomed person, young or elderly, will always have the expected standard of etiquette and good manners, online and offline. Abusive behavior comes from frustrations of not knowing yourself and how best you can be of yourself online. Social literacy skills make anyone aware of how best to behave and conduct themselves in any social and business setting. Social literacy skills make you conscious of yourself as a being with five senses of knowing what to do and what not to do to other people.

That empowers you to exercise a high sense of responsibility online and offline. Your social literacy skills would help in making you aware of exercising etiquette offline and netiquette online. That way inspires and empowers you to behave in the best possible way offline and online, especially online you can hide behind their horrible mischief online. You will be conscious of yourself as a being and how best you can contribute to making the world a better place to live, learn, work and do business for everyone.

Digital Literacy:

Because cyberbullying and trolling take place on technological devices like smartphones, computers, and tablets, I can say Digital Literacy is a solution to cyberbullying and trolling. Technology has always been mainly for business. That is what cyberbullies need to master and remember through a holistic understanding of technology and its importance in the present-day digital economy and how best it should be utilized to contribute to making the world a better place to live, learn, work and do business. That way improves your life by easing the way you do work.

 Missing this understanding of technology may result in getting confused about how best you can use it to improve yourself and your life. Right now, and with how I have come to use my digital literacy skills, I can’t imagine a life without the internet for accessing and sharing information the way I am doing in this blog. So, the more digitally literate you become, the more groomed you become in how best you can use it for your benefit and for bettering the world. 

Information Literacy

The UN International Day of Universal Access to Information plays a role in proclaiming access to information as a right to every individual on the earth. Therefore, a lack of appreciation of access to information may result in cyberbullying and trolling. It is just as good as buying some expensive wine to dine with someone who has never tasted any wine to appreciate which one is good and its significance for a special dinner. Access to information through the internet has been a special gift to those who know how to use it. And use it for their benefit and for the benefit of all concerned for contributing to making the world a better place to live, learn, work, and do business for everyone.

If one does not know how to use something, one might end up misrepresenting and misusing it. That compromises its whole purpose and function for people who might benefit from it. Cyberbullies and trolls do not give themselves that time to think of how best to use the information and the internet until you expose them to proper guidance and counseling for mindset change. That is why I recommend Holistic Literacy Program in this blog.

If you find this blog post interesting in contributing to making the world a better place to live, learn, work and do business, especially online, please recommend this blog and the Holistic Literacy Program to teachers, parents and entrepreneurs. Thank you for your support.


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