Participating in Online Communities for Mutual Support


Digital Literacies Peacock

Why a “Digital Literacy” Introduction?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
See UPDATE 4/27 below

I recently received an invitation from Hazel Owen, a woman introducing herself to me for the first time after her first visit to ADDandSoMuchMore.com.

She became aware of me only because I had “liked” an article written by her (hold that thought – it will relate to unwritten “reciprocity norms” when you read the upcoming article).

Hazel is an education advocate who hosts an online community from New Zealand (which explains some differences in slang and spelling you will find in articles written by her).

I found her voice, her background and her community impressive and fascinating, so I accepted her invitation to blog occasionally on her platform.

In THIS article, she is “returning the favor,” offering us some information I believe our entire community sorely needs — a beginners’ explanation of some of the “rules” of this whole “internet communities” thing! In other words, an introduction to the concept of Digital Literacy (dialogue with her in the comments section if you have questions – this lady KNOWs!)

Internet Alzheimer’s 🙂

Regular readers of ADDandSoMuchMore.com are most likely aware of my own technical challenges and frustrations. Most days I feel like a dolt who used to be on top of things.

Although I was once a computer professional myself, it was MANY years ago – decades that might as well be centuries in internet time.  The computer world moves rapidly, so practically nothing from those years offers me any help what-so-ever!!

In fact, after almost four years “off-line” as the result of some personal and health challenges, it seems now that my first instincts about how to do practically anything online are almost always wrong-wrong-wrong.

To make matters even worse, the people I asked (even paid!) for help didn’t seem to get it that I was unable to understand even their explanations, such was the depth of my cluelessness.

  • I had no IDEA how to “work” the software they suggested I download
    to “help.”
  • Other than “scroll” and a few other basic words that meant exactly
    what they used to mean, I was almost totally unfamiliar with the
    vocabulary they employed as they endeavored to enlighten me.
    Sheesh!

Oh goodie, more “in-order-to’s” to master .  .  . must I now give up bathing
and sleeping to fit it all in?

Hazel to the Rescue!

Hazel Owen
It turns out, you don’t NEED to be a technical guru to participate in the developing trend toward global connection.

There are a few basics you do need to know to keep from stepping in – um – trouble by violating the social expectations of the rest of Planet Internet.

After that, however, you can develop your “online literacy” at a pace most of us over here on Planet ADD will be able to manage without giving up basic self-care.

And now, without further ado, H-E-R-E-‘ s Hazel!

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