DLSU Libraries hosts forum on Digital Literacy

To continue its tradition of fostering the development of information-literate students in the University, DLSU Libraries launched its seventh annual information literacy campaign entitled IamInfoSmart last November 12 at The Learning Commons, sixth floor of the Henry Sy Sr. Hall. 

The theme for the week-long campaign, DQ Unlocked, is focused on promoting the importance of digital literacy and highlights the necessity of building a Digital Intelligence Quotient (DQ)—defined as the set of technical, cognitive, meta-cognitive, and socio-emotional competencies essential to digital life.

In the midst of disruption

Howie Severino, a veteran broadcast journalist of GMA 7, reflected on how reading books and writing journals remain important in the digital age. Severino shared that his mother was a voracious reader, passing down the practice to him and his son. He reminisced how his high school teacher would also ask him to write daily journals as his outlet. For Severino, traditional reading and writing compared to their online counterpart served as a way to hone his skills as a broadcast journalist. 

“A lot of the reading and writing that we are doing right now online is unreflective, it’s distracting, and worse it can be toxic, painful, and disruptive,” he elaborated. He adds that technology can be a factor to weaken familial bonds as it lessens human interaction. Severino narrated how traditional reading and writing became his “anchors in a sea of disruption”. 

On social media and mental health, Severino cited a study by Dr. Cornelio Banaag Jr., who is considered as the Father of Child Psychiatry in the Philippines, on the mental health of young adolescents in the Philippines. Banaag observed a strong correlation between time spent online and mental health issues. 

“There are more chances of having a high risk for depressive symptoms for those who spend more time [on] social networking, on TV, and [on] the internet,” Severino quoted Banaag’s study. 

Severino emphasized that there are ways to heal oneself, one of them is through bibliotherapy or reading books to treat psychological disorders. Encouraging the audience to read more, Severino narrated how the novel Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger helped him cope with his emotions during adolescence. 

Dares For Netizens 

To begin his talk, Jules Guiang from the National Alliance of Youth Leaders recalled his past experience as the former TV News Anchor and Host of People’s Television Network (PTV-4). Guiang highlighted how social media affects levels of discourse, reminiscing former Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson’s controversial video on federalism, which was lambasted as obscene. “Because of this particular video, napahiran siya…lalong sumama ‘yung paningin ng ibang mga kababayan natin patungkol dito.”  

(Because of this particular video, it (people’s view of federalism) was tainted…people saw the topic more negatively.)

Guiang dared the audience to be “smart [online] and offline”. The former PTV-4 host told the audience to always check the URL of websites to determine its credibility. He added that online users should be “accountable and fair” for their actions in social media. Guiang emphasized that netizens should “engage and educate” with other netizens, “Dito na pumapasok ang mga trolls…do we engage with [them] or [do] we educate [them]?” he asked the audience. 

(This is where the trolls come in.)

On using social media, Guiang believes that netizens use it for “social good”. “Kahit sobrang toxic na, pwede mong kontrolin actually yung timeline mo…pwede mong ibahin ang narrative,” he explained. 

(Even if it is too toxic, you can control your timeline…you can change the narrative.)

Guiang admitted that even though no one can prevent the creation of fake news, netizens can limit its circulation by not sharing it. “Hindi siya matatapos sa pag-fabricate ng mga news kasi nga may perang umiikot, ‘di ba? Habang merong nag-fufund, nag-fufuel ng mga content, tuloy-tuloy siya.”

(The fabrication of news will not end because money is involved, right? As long as there is someone funding and fueling it, the propagation of fake content will continue.)

Schedule of activities

The week-long information literacy campaign will consist of database trainings and learning workshops. Last November 12, talks on accessing online databases Turnitin and Mendeley were held at the eighth floor of The Learning Commons. Database training and Digital Workshops will be held on November 13, 14, and 16, at the Phinma E-Classroom, Room 303 of the St. Miguel Hall. Further information on the activities can also be found at the IamInfosmart DLSU Facebook page.

Oliver Barrios

By Oliver Barrios

John Robert Lee

By John Robert Lee

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