29 April 2014
Technology & Social Media’s Effects on Literacy and Anti-Intellectualism
In 2013, thirty-two million adults in the United States did not know how to read and write, which comes to about 14 percent of adults. Twenty-one percent of adults in the United States can only read at a fifth grade level. 774 million adults in the world cannot read or write. Many adults do not know how to read and write because they did not complete high school for any number of reasons. These reasons could include being forced to stay home and work or go out and get a job to support a family; the schools may not educate past the fifth or eighth grade level; bad home life; sickness; or a family crisis. Technology and social media have aided in decreasing the rates of literacy and increasing the amount of anti-intellectualism in the United States. Social media and technology have also helped some people to learn to read and write in some cases. According to Cynthia L. Selfe in Technology and literacy in the twenty-first century: the importance of paying attention, “the access and use of technology in school-based settings is now a fundamental skill of literacy, and if such skills do help prepare graduates for the jobs they will be asked to do, these same students can expect fewer opportunities to assume high-tech and high-paying jobs, not more.”(136) However, social media and technology have increased the amount of anti-intellectualism in the places where it is used.
Anti-intellectualism is the opposition to intellectuals. It opposes the artistic, academic, religious, and social ideas, and does not live for ideas. Anti-intellectuals live off of ideas. Intellectuals are the opposite in that they live for ideas, and the creation of new ideas (Hofstadter 257). Anti-intellectualism is contributing to the declining rates of…...