My children get their marks digitally. Their developments in school are continually available via the internet. My mother-in-law is 70 years old, retired as a teacher. She is used to the report books of her children en of her pupils. They received them four times a year. My children, her grandchildren, never receive paper reports. When she heard this she was puzzled: ‘when do you receive your report book then? What is your main mark then?
Does the new information make her a bit stupid?
My mother-in-law doesn’t use new media much. I think she does not know what ‘Facebook’ or ‘LinkedIn’ is. She is nearly blind and followed a course to use the computer for visually handicapped people.They taught her to use the computer so that she can read better. I don’t know if it helped her. What I do know, is that she doesn’t like computers and her children/grandchildren using them, too much. I know that she was flabbergasted when a grandson tried to explain her how Ipods, Ipads and so on work.
We have digital television. I know how that works except for the moment that my son started to use the radio with it and I wanted to watch television. Sometimes I know how to switch from radio to television and sometimes I don’t.
Are we stupid? Or are we just ignorant? I don’t know what effect these digital communication media have.
It could have an impact on our position in society. Some things I don’t know. I was 18 years old when I got in touch with the computer for the first time. Now I use it constantly. My children were very small using computers, mobile telephones and so on for the first time. These tools belong to their everyday life. Tell a child that something like mobile phones did not exist in the most important part of last century and he or she doesn’t believe you. I am very curious to learn how new forms of communication work. Even if I cannot handle them, they still interest me. But people are hesitant accepting change. People like my mother-in-law would love to communicate the way she was always used to. So, does it make her ignorant? If people around her change their communication and she can’t adapt, perhaps it has an influence on intelligence. Maybe my children and her grandchildren will show whether they are more or less intelligent than we are. We’ll see.