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ILLITERATE BY THE SECOND

There is no denying the fact that we are living in the apex of technology and there is no sign that it is slackening.

Perhaps one major outcome of this fact is the unprecedented flux of information by the second. However, this on-going surge of information has taken its toll over people mainly social networks such as facebook, twitter.

It has become painfully arduous to keep up with what is going on in the world. There is this constant dilemma between the need to keep being updated about what is taking place and the time commitment that we have to abide by if we are to read or watch these threads of news.

All this has a serious effect on our perception of long standing concepts. A case in point is the shift of illiteracy categorization.

According to The Online Free Dictionary, the term “literate” means: 1. a. Unable to read and write.

b. Having little or no formal education.

2. a. Marked by inferiority to an expected standard of familiarity with language and literature.

b. Violating prescribed standards of speech or writing.

3. Ignorant of the fundamentals of a given art or branch of knowledge.

No one fails to see the semantic expansion of the term. However, an added meaning to the term is already shaping up. One would be labeled as “illiterate” if he/she is not up-to-date about the current situation, not only in his/her sourrounding but also beyond his/her country geographical boundaries.

This can be accounted for by the cultural or religious or political or economic or, all at once, ties that go beyond the traditional barriers.

It is believed that we are all either facing the same, so to say, enemy or the same fate and that we need to convene if we ever hope to meet either fronts. Nevertheless and in the throng of this influx of information, it has become extremely subtle and probably pernicious to extricate this influx. It is fair to argue that having access to the same piece of news via a myriad of news sources has led people to have second thoughts about every piece of news before they make up their minds about it.

Unfortunately, the media industries are by far in control of news broadcasting, which gives them almost total ability to manipulate news to favor or disfavor a particular ideology, political agenda or party.

This undoubtedly has made it more difficult for laymen to peel off the shell of fake news and get to the truth intact and unspoilt especially when corporate media are working around the clock analysing and anticipating the reactions of people at large towards whatever they are broadcasting.

TunisianMonitorOnline (Achour Chakhar high school teacher, holding an MA in linguistics and preparing for his PhD)

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