If there are no young or old readers and writers, it’s hard to argue the statement that “literacy will be dead.” Who will teach the young readers and writers if there are no old readers and writers? But what about democracy? Not to argue with Margaret Atwood, but being able to read and write hasn’t helped democracy a lot lately in the U.S. In fact, at first glance, it’s hurt it.
But let’s think about that a little more.
Let’s say that a lot of people’s votes were influenced by Russian trolls online. Aren’t identifying credible sources, recognizing fact from fiction, and general reading comprehension all reflections of your reading ability and training? From what I’ve seen in person and online (election aside), the number of people without those skills is huge. And it’s growing.
And it’s affecting our democracy.
Hmmmm… So will improving reading and writing skills help our government? Is it too late? (Is it never too late?) Reading skills aside, is it even possible to keep people from believing random stuff posted online that they want to believe?
So is this a slippery slope argument, or does this Margaret Atwood quote have a point?