What is digital literacy?

Let’s define digital literacy and explore what it takes to live, learn, and work in a digital society.

Long gone are the days where you’d have to flip through stacks of books at your local library to obtain information. Every day, internet users worldwide can also search and navigate information online, often sharing it with others through email, messaging, or social media. The ability to do this confidently and successfully has a lot to do with digital literacy — let’s dive into what the term means.

Digital literacy meaning.

Much like “literacy” is the ability to read and write, digital literacy is the ability to navigate, evaluate, and communicate information online or in a digital format. While the exact definition may vary between companies, universities, or institutions, you can generally break down the concept of digital literacy into three main skills. These are:

  1. How you consume information. This is the ability to complete digital tasks like using an e-reader in a classroom, viewing your online banking statements, or reading an online news article.
  2. How you create information. This skill includes everything from making and editing videos to writing articles to creating and editing PDFs.
  3. How you communicate information. Once you have information, you’ll need to know how to share it. Communication can look like many different things — from composing a tweet to sending an email to sharing documents online with your team and more.

From school to the workforce, digital literacy is vital in many areas of life — but simply, having it is an absolute necessity for anyone who uses the internet. Sometimes forms and applications are only available online, so you’ll need to be comfortable accessing and using them. The ability to evaluate whether a website is authentic or not can save you from headaches, and knowing how to share documents can help keep workflow moving. In short, digital literacy is a necessary skill for navigating in our modern, digital world.

Take a moment to explore everything you can do with Acrobat today to make navigating digital files easy.