We’ve all witnessed the daily craze in using infographics to make information “simple” to digest and the countless data maps for just about anything. Information, images, infographics are all a dime a dozen. “So What?” As the deluge of digital media grows, so does the exposure to it. With that, the amount of digital consumption goes up disproportionately to the amount we can take in and process. If it were our diet, we would be obese. We need to adapt methods to teach students how to think about the things they see not as fleeting views. They need to know how to study digital content for meaning as a matter of necessity in order to weed out digital junk.
Educating our digital consumers in how to move past the sound bites, the flashy images, and the interactive movements on the computer screen takes on a larger significance in a technological world full of gadgets and gizmos. Just like food, we have plenty of treats to eat that don’t necessarily have nutritional value. The same goes for the treats we are tempted by in the digital world. They, too, add to our experience, but they do not necessarily broaden our knowledge base. Learning to question the value of what to consume will develop skills for selectivity. Digital junk is produced daily and without instruction in an educational environment can be consumed without regard to legitimacy. As educators, we need to teach the nuances of knowing what’s on one's plate and whether it is good for consumption. Teaching students how to deconstruct the marketing, design, and interconnections of information will enable our students make healthier choices about what they choose to consume.