Electracy: Skills to succeed in Media

The main functions of literacy, reading and writing are essential for people to grow. If electracy “is to digital media what literacy is to print,” then in this century it is crucial for people to understand technology and the way it works. In 2015, it is almost detrimental for people to lack electracy.  Social media and technology have become a way of communicating in life. Rarely people use mail, paper, pencil, in fact some schools don’t even teach cursive anymore. In order to receive information, pay bills, buy products, communicate across the country, you need to have electracy.

Just like in literacy there are “levels” (what a person is able to comprehend and write), social media has the same type of levels. People who can just type on word processor and email are at different “level” than people who can take what they typed on word processor and post it on twitter for the world to see. Also, just like increased literacy makes people brighter and eventually take them to many achievements, having electracy does the same. Let’s take for example instagram. Company’s that use instagram to advertise are at a different “level” than people who are not familiar with the free advertising site.

Having electracy also helps people relate and reach people that they are not familiar with. Having sites linkedin, recent college graduates are able to reach out and approach professionals with a click of the mouse.

Although Ulmer was comparing electracy and literacy to prove a point, electracy and literacy go hand in hand. Social media has its own language in itself. (hashtag, selfie, etc). In order to understand this electracy language, one must be literate. Also, electracy in a way is a teacher’s literacy. Teachers constantly use social media to teach literacy. Many projects are done by tweeting or making up Facebook profiles, which also once again proves that it is essential for people to have some type of exposure to electracy.

Lastly, like literacy with electracy there is always more to learn. New social media is being discovered daily and in order to understand and keep up with the new media a person must be willing to take time to learn, understand, and comprehend the new tool because how the world is going now people wont last if they don’t know how to use these tools. Ulmer created a literacy of technology electracy (electronic + literacy), which is the perfect name to define the fundamentals of technology.


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