In Portugal, given the changes that derive from the ongoing digitization process, which clearly marks the current reality, the government aims to increase the percentage of digital literacy from 53% to 80% within ten years.
The phenomenon of emigration is still very present in the Portuguese reality. Low wages and the cost of living make it difficult for many to have good living conditions and future prospects. This emigration happens regularly to people who have children, since it is complicated to support a family with the financial conditions they provide. With this, in order to provide better living conditions for their children, parents migrate to other countries in search of better pay.
It is also very difficult, even with state aid, to attend a university without a high income. It is necessary that the parents have the financial means to pay for transportation to the university, food, materials (computers), and often the housing itself, which is usually provided by the government. These aspects previously mentioned, contribute to the emigration of parents in search of better conditions for their children.
With these factors that lead to emigration, it is necessary to have a way to communicate with the children left behind, and digital literacy has provided the possibility to maintain the parent-child relationship through online communication.
Digital literacy is defined by a set of skills needed to achieve digital competence, supported by basic ICT skills that allow people to communicate and exchange information. This subject is considered a very important soft skills for communication between migrant parents and the children left behind. With the advancement of technology it becomes more accessible to communicate with people on the other side of the world.
According to a study conducted in the USA, seven out of ten parents use social media as a way to communicate and connect with their children when they are away from their parents. One advantage that can be drawn from digital literacy is that parents can have access to all the information shared by their children on the Internet, and in this way, it allows them to understand what the children’s hobbies and interests are that are often not shared with their parents. This helps a lot in your relationship with your child, and in this way you can stay in touch with your child’s life. Although face-to-face communication is more valuable in family relationships.
These days we must use the resources that are available to us, and with the advancement of technology there are more ways to communicate. When parents are away from their children it is only through technologies that the relationship can be maintained. With this, we must instruct children and adults to learn how to use technological tools.
There are several applications available that can be enjoyed by these stakeholders. Currently, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Telegram, Instagram, Hangouts and Viber are the most used applications to communicate with friends, parents and family. All these applications allow the exchange of messages, video, and images, and one only needs to have access to the internet to be able to communicate with anyone in the world, in this case, migrating parents with their children left behind. Communication by these means helps to hold the children’s attention.
The costs for the use of these applications are quite low and many of the times free, so it is an added value to use these tools in promoting the relationship between migrant parents and children left behind.
With the increase in the emigration of parents, the children left behind have great difficulty in adapting in the new home environment, at school, and in their daily lives.
The moment children are left behind, there is a process of adaptation to their new reality. These children sometimes go through a complicated phase.
In an initial phase, they feel alone, they often don’t want to leave their home, they don’t want to participate in activities with their friends because they miss their parents. The fact that they isolate themselves a lot, often contributes to the fact that the children have sequels in the development of their personality and in the way they act. They tend to be more angry, frustrated, and sometimes aggressive and violent.
When these children are in the care of their family, grandparents, uncles or even friends of their parents, the children become angry with themselves due to these factors and are sometimes rude to the people who take them in and care for them.
A very important factor in the difference of adaptations in these situations is the child’s age, gender, and also the financial resources of the family. If the family has good living conditions, the child will also have good living conditions and will never lack the essentials. Now for children who stay with relatives who don’t have enough financial resources for the needs of a child, it becomes even more complicated. Since they already suffer from being away from their parents during preadolescence, experiencing financial difficulties only makes them feel even worse.
Many of them drop out of school, have their educational goals lowered, and are less likely to complete compulsory education. Similarly, they score low in school exams and there are also difficulties with the student-teacher relationship.
Regarding digital literacy and adaptation, it can be concluded that technology can facilitate adaptation and the relationship between parents and children.
With the difficulty of adaptation on the part of the children left behind, the use of digital tools allows communication between parents and children. These tools facilitate interpersonal relationships.
Nowadays, with the daily presence of technology it becomes more accessible to communicate with someone from anywhere in the world, and in this adaptation situation it is considered a great communication tool.
In conclusion, it is important that parents as well as children know the importance of digital literacy to maintain a stable and close relationship. As mentioned throughout the text, in addition to the adaptation of the new reality by the children, parents have another type of adaptation, in this case, to the adaptation of new technologies, because as technological advancement has been very fast and in a short period of time, makes older people have some difficulty in the inclusion of these tools.
- Carvalho, M. (2021, July 12). Literacia digital: O que É e por que deve ser parte da sua vida. Ekonomista, from https://www.e-konomista.pt/literacia-digital/
- Rodrigues, T. B. (2018, June 29). Governo quer 80% dos Portugueses Com Literacia Digital Até 2030. XXI Governo – República Portuguesa, from https://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/gc21/comunicacao/noticia?i=governo-quer-80-dos-portugueses-com-literacia-digital-ate-2030
- Segura, M. (2013, October 30). Pais e Filhos Na Era da Internet. Pais e filhos na Era da Internet – Meio & Mensagem. From https://www.meioemensagem.com.br/home/marketing/ponto_de_vista/2013/10/30/pais-e-filhos-na-era-da-internet.html
- Holanda, I. (2021, September 3). A influência das redes sociais na Comunicação Humana. Fortes Tecnologia., from https://blog.fortestecnologia.com.br/tecnologia-e-inovacao/a-influencia-das-redes-sociais/