Thursday, June 5, 2008

Digital Divide?

It's pretty obvious why we were supposed to begin with this text as our introduction to the Digital Environment Class, because it provides a detailed overview into the many themes that are important in studying a digital Environment. I think starting with this text as opposed to the Writing Machines text would have provided a more interdisciplinary approach to what I thought this class wold be about. I also may have read the Writing Machines book differently.

In any case, Chapter 10 explores the idea of the digital divide. I would call it the economic divide, but I think calling it the digital divide makes people feel better. It is sad to know that a lot of the people who are making computers can not necessarily afford to have them in their homes. This also effects who has access to what information by means of their economic status. What is also interesting is the different was in which people of different economic status choose to use the technology that is being produced. I have had many friends who joke about the fact that they know people who spend so much money on their wardrobe but do not own computers. In many urban community settings their relationship to the technological world is usually by means of their cell phones as opposed to their computers. With a relationship with the Internet via a PDA phone, there may be a closer connection to personal communication such as Facebook and Myspace. At this point I am just babbling, but I do think it would be something interesting to look into.


mike's spot said...

Interesting assessment of the urbanite and the computer- The term digital nomad gets kicked around more and more these days- and that could be because people are at a point again where they carry their perceived 'needs' with them.

people think they have these needs to stay in touch with friends and family via digital communication, which I speculate could isolate them from those around them in the physical world. It creates that 'alone in a crowd' feeling. leaving people to drift alone, in a sea of people, while being connected to others who are experiencing the same thing but at a different physical location.

Interesting take on it.

Lance Strate said...

It was unfortunate that the book store couldn't get Communication and Cyberspace in before the semester began. In any event, your point about an economic divide is significant, but as you acknowledge, it's not always money that's the issue. Some people simply are laggards when it comes to adopting new technologies. The point about mobile media is interesting, and would seem to relate more to the social digital divide than to information access per se.