Internet culture ‘creating generation of illiterates’

There’s a new generation of illiterates as a result of the Internet, charged the first black Nobel Prize winner for literature, Professor Wole Soyinka.

He was taking part in the fireside chat of the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) Live Theatre of the Intra-African Trade Fair, IATF 2023, at the Manara Conference Centre in Cairo, Egypt when he expressed his disgust at the misuse of technology.

“This is a marvellous technology; this is a liberating technology. The so-called Arab Spring, for instance, among many movements, was able to take life and be successful where they’ve been utilising that culture of instant communication; these are positive.

“However, as a new, tyrannical, insolent, and abusive culture, the culture of submental humanity in our midst, which you can give the rough name of the new Internet culture, in which real creativity is being downgraded, even despised for cheap, populist, nasty, subversive, humanly subversive culture,” said the Nigerian playwright, novelist, poet, and essayist.

The Internet, said the 89-year-old who won the award in 1986, was “creating new generations of the illiterate, who believe it’s up to them that it’s sort of noble, progressive and populist to despise what I call the real meaningful culture that improves the mind of humanity, expands our horizons, offers numerous alternatives or interpretations of phenomena, et cetera, and leads to a new construct of a genuine new being”. (AC)