The New Technological Advances

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There is no debate that in the past century, society has been introduced to new technological advances that have transformed the lifestyles of many and has overthrown the dominant media. One of which is the ability to become fluent and navigate easily through online programs and software’s such as Twitter, YouTube, iMovie, Google, Flicker, Netflix and more. In the article “Becoming Screen Literate” written by Kevin Kelly in 2008, Kelly argues that humans are headed towards screen ubiquity. He also mentions that new tools will soon enable the possibility for many people to become screen literate. Throughout the article, Kelly defends his argument by using a lot of logical and emotional appeal to deliver his response, however, lacks credibility and doesn’t discuss the challenges that it takes to get to this ‘ideal’ world.

Kelly relates his argument back to textual literacy. Whereas textual literacy, he refers to users having the ability to cut and paste ideas, link them to related sources, search through vast libraries of work, annotate them and quote verbatim from an expert. As screens continue to rocket the markets, he indicates that this begins to dominate how individuals access information. People are quickly shifting from an era of language literacy, that refers to the ability to write and read, to an era of the screen, where literacy will mean the ability to manipulate moving images, string together fragments from various online sources into new mashups in a video context. He discusses the advantages these new innovations will bring for the future and relates them back to how its molding the world today.

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From the beginning, Kelly’s premise was backed up by using personal experiences to deliver an emotional approach (pathos) to the audience, “The other day I watched clips from a movie as I pumped gas into my car. The other night I saw a movie on the backseat of a plane. Screens playing video pop up in the most unexpected places… These ever-present screens have created an audience for very short moving pictures”. This appeal of emotion used at the beginning was not only used as a hook but also persuades the reader to act based upon what he says. Throughout the piece, Kelly emphasizes what the new innovations are providing by relating it back to examples from prior history.

For instance, on the first page, Kelly connects the current era of how people are becoming screen literate to how the Gutenberg invention of the metallic movable type elevated writing into a central position in the culture from being a society that only relied on oral skills and memorization. This is to set a visual ground for the reader to understand the magnitude of change happening around them and comprehend how it will continue to develop. Further along the piece, Kelly restates this metaphor “but by merely producing movies with ease is not enough for screen fluency, just as producing books with ease on Gutenberg’s press did not fully unleash text”. This is to emphasize how literacy both by screen or text is not just producing or writing a book or movie, however it involves a vast amount of techniques to manipulate text.

Kelly lacked a significant amount of evidence from statistics to research from other experts to support his argument and convince readers that book literacy will diminish in numbers for the following years to come. The only piece of evidence he uses from another ‘source’ is when he states, “In 2007, 600 feature films were released in the United States, or about 1,200 hours of moving images”. Kelly did a great job in delivering his argument through emotional appeal (pathos) and a bit of logos, as well as backing it up with his own content. However, he lacked credibility (ethos) and did a bad job balancing the three modes of persuasion. Essentially, this article allows individuals to reflect on how these technological advances have made it easier to become screen literate, yet Kelly doesn’t give credibility to what he is arguing.

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The New Technological Advances. (2022, Apr 14). Retrieved from

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