The Illiterate Generation We Live In Today

In this generation, we have a big problem on our hands and they are computers and calculators. As technology booms with newly sophisticated gadgets and the decades go on by, I have noticed that people actually do not know the basic math skills and always resort to a calculator to find the answers or their mobile phones or the computer. Sometimes I see people struggling with basic words and words in general are spelled incorrectly. I know some of my blog posts have a few punctuation errors and everything I am guilty in that, and I am not talking about those who have a hard time learning, they are exempt from all this, but I am saying that the use of pens, paper, and everything is going, and I go to the stores like staples, and office supply stores and dollar stores that have pens, papers and everything and they still sit there and hardly touched. I mean where do we draw the line to all of this? at my time when in elementary school and before that we were never allowed a calculator during a test or when we are doing math in class and we would have to show our work and do everything the hard way and we succeeded. It was a great time where simplicity was at its best and people learned a lot better and kids learned proper ways of learning and doing math and doing grammar. Boy have times really changed. Children these days should be so lucky that they have the easy way out. It’s not a proper way to be educated. I know some children who do not even know how to hold a pencil and I know some children to teenagers who they’re penmanship is like 3 or 4 year old and it is such an extremely sad thing.

Nowadays its now all about text messaging, using calculators, and spell check on the computer, but there really is no effort and work being put in by people these days. Everything is so easy these days. Its sad. These children and these teenagers are our next generation and they are the ones will take over the world someday and its a pretty scary thought to think of the future as illiteracy will be on the rise and that education will not be the way it was and its starting out to be that way as decades go on and more sophisticated products come out to make people be more illiterate. It is all in the way of the school systems and what is brought into the schools. Before there was no such thing as typing up essays, and homework, everything was done by hand, and a lot more hours were spent on doing homework everyday, people did crafts, people did all kinds of things before the computers and all this stuff was invented.

Again this does not apply to everyone. I am saying all this in a general perspective and my opinions and thoughts on this situation. I know our lives have become easier and technology took over, but it is always special to actually sit down and take time to write a paragraph or write something down and write personal letters, and just write an essay or two about your day about your experiences, like a diary. It is imperative that these things be taught and I know schools have people write with pencil and everything, but the whole purpose of children, teens and adults go to school is to learn properly, to learn how to write well, to learn to appreciate the art of learning and to strengthen future, because if in our future decades and generation we see more illiterate people, then this is going to become a huge problem than it already is.

I also find many errors in professional newspapers, ads, signs, in grocery stores, and everything. I catch onto it. Its sad.

Know your limit when it comes to technology. Yes computers and calculators are fine tools and they  are incredible with communication with family and friends, and researching about places, animals, things, subjects, society, but that should be the limit. take it to the limit and the rest try to learn it on your own. again this does not apply to those who have a hard time. All the best to you all.

35 thoughts on “The Illiterate Generation We Live In Today

  1. Technology is nothing but a tool. We should not be dependent on it so much until it cripples us. Like any other tool in this modern world, it can be used to make or break. I have seen a lot of damage this technology can make to mankind. We no longer have “quality” time spent with family due to addiction to the technology. I totally agree with you and feels happy that somewhere out there, there is someone also feeling the toll technology has taken on mankind.

  2. I don’t understand how you speak about illiteracy in today’s society yet you write with such poor sentence structure, grammatical errors and with non-existent parallel structure. Illiteracy is not caused by people resorting to using technologies as a platform to voice opinions and thoughts; it also has nothing to do with people using “pen and paper” less to vocalize. Have you not visited an educational institution recently? We adapt to these technologies in order to have more time to express ourselves in other individualistic manners. This does not in any way express how we are an illiterate generation.

    If you are to argue that it is against literacy to use technologies such as computers and calculators, why then choose the platform of social media such as wordpress? One’s method of communication is not an attack on the learning process, but rather promotes literacy by having more options to learn. This is a poorly written article on a very narrow perspective. What is ironic in your critique of my generation is all the errors I keep finding.

    • I am sorry Talin but I have to agree with JL. I understand your point, I understand what you are saying but you cannot criticise/condemn others, when you, yourself, write a post in the way that you just have. I appreciate that English is not your first language, and I applaud you in not letting that get in the way of your blogging and your passion. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are now being critical about something that you maybe need to address yourself?

      I have left many heartfelt comments on your blog over the past few months since you started following me, and I was excited and happy that you did, and in return I followed you. I have never had one comment left from you, no likes, nothing, so I sometimes wonder why you bothered to follow me at all? I still read your blog posts and I still follow you. Lottie

      • This is the same for me. I follow you, Talin, even though sometimes I’m left shaking my head at your posts. This one in particular is troubling, because, although I expect your intentions are always good, your writing skills need improvement. I applaud anyone who wants to write, and writing every day is excellent, but this subject is way off your expertise. I, too, have never received any comments on my blogs – I’m not sure you even read them, which is fine if you don’t want to. Blogging isn’t about a mutual exchange.

        • I agree with you Martha, and I am glad that I am not alone in this. Now that I’ve been blogging for 5 months, (yes, 5 long months) I feel very stongly that blogging IS about a community. It is about SHARING. I always reply to comments on my posts, I always appreciate the fact that someone has taken the time and trouble to stop by, read, and then make a comment. I keep going back to your posts Talin because I CARE, and I am WILLING you to have happy, good times but it’s sad that you never make the trouble to reply to comments. Like Martha, I doubt you ever even bother to read our blogs. I genuinely wish you well, and you seem like a lovely lady, but you need to step off your high horse at times and get real. You are very idealistic and keen to criticise but you have to understand the repurcussions. This is not written in ill will, nor is it designed to hurt or harm, but it is written by someone who values the nature of blogging, who cares about community and is loyal to her followers. I am still your follower Talin, and I wish you well.

  3. I agree man! We have become so dependant on computers and technology. the other day I had to write a test in pen and paper. I was actually scared coz I had literally forgotten how to use a pen and pencil. So used to typing. Quite sad.

  4. I suffer from dyscalculia – the same as dyslexia but with numbers. I can do only very basic maths and any number higher than 14 terrifies me!

    There’s nothing wrong with my grammar, however, and I cringe every time I see “net speak” being used! It also scares me just how many young people struggle with a pen because they do most of their school work on the computer.

  5. Great Post! I could not agree with you more. I was speaking with another blogger the other day and I mentioned that because of the computer and spell check my spelling has actually gotten worse. I no longer really have to think about what letters go where because my computer will correct it for me. It has made me lazy and I need to do something about it.

  6. Love this post! My boys are in middle school and high school now. My oldest has a school-issued laptop, which is great since most of his homework has to be submitted to the teachers via email, but it feels wrong to me. I guess that’s my age talking. They’re still learning the basics–reading, math, science–but subjects like penmanship got pushed aside for classes on computer programing. I have a feeling my kids are smarter than I was at their age, their education more diversified, but just once I want one of them to come home and say, “Ugh, I have to write a term paper!” I want them to experience the same dread, have to write out stacks of note cards, craft outlines and bibliographies, make a hundred trips to the library and use actual books for research… Hmm, maybe I’ll assign that on my own. “I’ll give you your Xbox controllers back when you give me 25 double-spaced pages on the sociological effects of the Spanish-American War, citing a minimum of four sources.” LOL

  7. Years ago, when my grandparents had their vegetable stand (selling fresh veggies from their farm) I asked my grandfather why he didn’t have a calculator to add up the tally for each customer. You would have thought I said something terrible.
    He was adamant that we grandchildren (who took turns helping throughout the summer) would
    “use the mind that God gave us” to figure out the cost for each customer’s purchase. He is gone now, but I still have a quick ability to add and subtract to this day (over 25 years later) and I know it’s because he made me use my head!

  8. It is too funny that I should find your post today when my son went for a college interview after writing a college math admittance test where they were not allowed to use a calculator. This was extremely difficult for my son and when I asked him why he said that he can’t remember when he had to do the work in his head. He had always been allowed to use a calculator which angered me to no end.
    You are so right children now days don’t have to think anymore and it is a shame we are raising a generation of children who are so dependent on electronics for pretty much everything. It even became a discussion at his interview how teachers don’t want to take the time to teach the children to mentally do the work, it is easier to use a calculator or computer that does the work for them. A real shame!

    • having said that about calculators, my son also was one that benefited from the computer to do school work as he couldn’t get his thoughts on paper fast enough with writing and being able to use the computer did really help his grade and confidence. So I do agree with some of the the posts that computers/calculators can be very useful, but I still think we shouldn’t forget the basics either.

  9. Talin, as a public school teacher I often use technology in the classroom. I can assure you that the use of computers and calculators does not make someone “illiterate.” In fact, these tools can provide a way for students who have historically been marginalized to be academically successful and excel in careers that were not open to them just a few decades ago. I can appreciate a story about a grandfather being able to count apples – but you don’t want the engineer building your transportation system to do calculations in her head. Our world demands an increasingly complex skill set. The person who created the computer you are using to blog about this topic needed a calculator at some point.

  10. I saw a PBS news hour with Condolessa Rice who said our education system is becoming a national security risk. She stated that children are not even coming out of schools with the basics, much less higher learning. She stated that a high percentage of young people who apply for the military cannot even pass the tests to enlist anymore. That is sad. Kids get pushed through, graded to pass the classes so they can go on through the system and it has been proven many leaving high school (if they make it that far), don’t have the equivalent of a third grade education in the United States.
    Partly because teachers do not fail children anymore if they don’t meet the grades to move up to the next class. When I was in school, if you had not learned first grade skills you stayed behind until you did and so forth. (I agree some should have had special education) but I remember as a kid, the teachers were thorough and some students just wanted to be cut-ups, not there to learn. Now if a child fails the teacher is held at fault so they pass them on. I have to agree some teachers are at fault BUT when you have a room full of students who refuse to listen, talk over the teacher and do other things in class, the teacher cannot be blamed for undisiplined children. That’s the parents fault.

  11. Yes. And remember that any technology can break down, be deliberately disabled or be lost. You should never, for example, go into wild country relying on GPS or gadgets to tell you if the weather will change and unable to cope without that pre-packaged information.

  12. I had a pediatrician tell me he doesn’t bother teaching his kids how to tell time because everything is digital anyway. My view is that you teach sun dials, clocks, and use digital. It’s a both / and. Technology is an awesome tool, but like anything, it can be abused or become a crutch.

    I do have to wonder, though, how you seem to attract such vocal criticism, Talin. Maybe I haven’t had a blog long enough, but it is curious.

  13. I’m dyslexic-so I have to rely on spell check or everything sounds ill-literate. Tools that are helpful, I, myself am thankful for. Critical thinking I believe is what we lack, and learning how to think is what should be the highest priority.
    I can’t remember my own phone number–yet I can do complex math. My spelling is pitiful–yet I am a great editor–my speaking ability far exceeds–my grammar mis-haps!
    In response to your apology; Do not disregard your own thoughts. Speaking up is important! I have written responses, that on further consideration, I have changed my mind. How many people have published works that later on in life they contradict? It is perfectly fine in my mind to make mistakes, or to doubt yourself. There are no rules.
    Who says you do not have to have the “right” to rock the boat? Or change your mind.
    We are, who we are, that is not perfect, but still have the right to our own voice without regret as long as we remain respectful and open to others. I think if anything just add an amendment. Is blogging really a place to people please??

  14. Hey there-
    Okay, so I’ve read this post and I wasn’t going to comment but I felt a need to. I’m 17, a junior in high school, and there are a few things I would like to disagree with. First off, the whole technology aspect of it. Our school was given laptops for every student. A very large insurance company in our town had donated them for a certain reason. They gave them to us because of the importance of technology in our world. It hasn’t caused us to become any less illiterate. If anything, it’s made students better. In a world where technology is huge, there isn’t a large need to pencil and paper. It’s not a negative thing whatsoever. It’s just that we’re evolving. I don’t understand why that is pegged as bad. Also, being 17, this post was sort of hurtful. I understand it was a generalization, but it isn’t a fair one. Your generation was not any smarter than ours. There have always been issues such as this in history. About the misspellings in signs and newspapers. Its expected that there are mistakes. We’re human and it happens. You’re telling me even when you were younger there were never any mistakes? I’m sorry if this has come off rude. That is not my intent at all. But coming from a 17 year old who can speak, write, and use grammar better than some adults, I found this to be way off.

    Thank you for your time.

  15. Illiteracy is not automatically a trait of the uneducated; we live in a world of abbreviations, acronyms, and “Critics”. Nonetheless, if I am reading a good article or book filled with interest and importance I will place new knowledge above grammar.

  16. Illiteracy isn’t completely caused by technology. It’s caused by my generation’s lack of motivation. I don’t really know how to explain this.. I lose my train of thought easily due to ADD. Sorry… Anyway, I understand where you’re coming from. I think our generation and the ones that follow are doomed unless we actually try. Try harder on what, I can’t exactly tell you… I don’t know, everything.And I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. Music and media are filled with grammar mistakes and such, and our dependence on these things is only growing. Like I said, we’re doomed.
    I honestly have no clue what I just said. It probably looks a bunch of random sentences that may or may not have something to do with this post.

    • I do not think that we are doomed…I do know that no one person can solve the problems of the world. However, I do believe that we can make a difference if we speak out and work on those problems we can help solve. Keep writing our most precious right is “freedom of speech”.

  17. I am a sophomore in college and find it AMAZING that so many students have problems with spelling or using the correct words. If you don’t know the difference between where, were, and wear, go back to high school. Also what surprised me is almost NO ONE writes their notes. Did everyone forget how to write cursive? I can write cursive much faster than printing every word. Sometimes I use a hybrid of writing/printing that only I can follow, but I do know how to do both.

    Writing term papers in high school is nothing like writing them in college. If a student doesn’t realize this right away they better make a beeline for the learning resourse center and learn the correct format.

    There is no excuse for not knowing how to write a solid term paper because even if you look on the internet, examples will guide you.

    English is probably the hardest language to learn ever.

  18. I do want to make one more point…it’s not the pc’s, calculators, etc. that are doing this. It’s the kids and PARENTS that are lazy and want to rely on technology.

    Read books to your kids, play board games and card games. Life exists outside of cyberworld.

  19. Compared to the generation who used to get newspapers once a day or read advertisements and compare it to today where they constantly reading everything on gadgets. Think about it, how many things are online vs 20 or 50 years ago? They don’t have time, much less have the attention span anymore to read the entire story. Everything must be condensed.
    As for basic math, I prefer to use calculators in a fast paced environment or use paper. I have a mild math disorder and can’t do math in my head or I’ll get numbers mixed up. I’m guilty for not double checking my work when I write but English isn’t my first language. It’s a work in progress.
    I have however, been to Uganda, their idea of writing and basic math skills are more advanced than ours. By the way, these were kids with multiple disabilities in high school. To graduate, they had to take a placement test to pass. Some of the things they were teaching was college algebra. Tell me when our school system is up to par again and I’ll reconsider having kids in the U.S., until then I think I’ll move to Uganda.

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