Refuting Computer Literacy

If you ask anyone who, in their life, is computer literate, you will almost always get platitudes lamenting how amazing the youth are. "My granddaughter taught me how to use the internet", "My son is a wizard, I would be lost without him". But what does it mean to be savvy with digital technology? What happens to these prodigies when their own phones or computers break down or simply do not behave in a desired way?

I would argue that this demographic is actually the most technologically dominated. Their expertise is measured only in memorizing the layout of graphical UI logic trees of whichever platform or [dis]service is currently dominant. These are metrics which change cyclically, rendering most of that knowledge useless as soon as there is a periodic, inevitable shift in dominance.

What constitutes computer literacy needs to be broken down into smaller parts. Most people have, in fact, just *platform* literacy. They know the ins and outs of software set about by the artificial limits of whichever walled garden ghetto they choose (or where born into). Users are allowed to know that a given piece of data can be changed for created or shared in X way, but they cannot know how to do so outside of a vendor's prescribed means. And this is by design. If, for example, a user is [easily] allowed to convert their movie library to a platform agnostic file format, they would be able to leave the plantation. The masters cannot allow for this.

Schools also teach platform dependency, not computer literacy. Students are instructed how to navigate a framework whose underlying functionality cannot be understood or studied because it has been intentionally sealed off. This is anti-education.