According to the “Connected to the Future” article, preschool children had the largest increase in internet use (between the years of 2000 and 2002) of any age or demographic group. Hmmm. As of 2002 (as reported by their parents), 35% of children ages 2-5 used the internet. I’m not sure how to use statistics correctly--there is surely something wrong with comparing percentages across studies—but, regardless, I need to compare this with % of internet users in the article “The Ever-Shifting Internet Population”. It seems that a higher percent of 2-5 year olds are internet users than adults of any ethnicity with less then a high school level education or who are making less than $20,000/year. What does this mean?
Also, 2-5 year olds had NO evidence of a “digital divide” with regards to ethnicity (maybe one in favor of Hispanic families—but that is a topic for class), but these children do have one with regards to income of family. Since this week’s readings were related to commercial studies and groups I was reminded of how much money makes a difference in most everything is the United States.
Could it be that there is more money going into providing good web-sites/ software for three-year old consumers because they may have wealthy parents than towards adults with low education or low income levels? Probably yes. Might this be creating a cyclical effect of who uses the internet? (I think I could argue the same self-perpetuating cycle for things like advertising to a certain user group because they use the site, and reading levels also)