Friday, February 18, 2005

Third try...

I just wrote a long post, wasn't entirely done but almost, and then kicked out the computer power cord....TWICE! How am I so coordinated?!? Anyway, this time I am going to write a short one. (Note to self: save long posts as drafts)
What I will write about is how the readings seemed to affect me strangely. I feel very skeptical about the way some of the readings discuss the "digital divide" especially the "digital opportunity" but, I also feel skeptical about my skepticism.
In terms of the catagories in Entering the Broadband Age, I am a "No Internet Access at Home; Uses the Internet at least once a week but not every day". For personal use, I only use the internet for communication. For school I use the internet in a variety of ways. I have a computer at home but I don't use it, it sits in the closet by my choice. I could get the Internet but choose not to. This position is part of why I am skeptical about how people talk about how much computer/Internet use people need. For example: is it really the goal to make sure every person has a computer with broadband connection at their house? Whose goal is this? Granted, the hearing in the reading was from the Subcommittee on Empowerment, Committee on Small Business so it was going to be coming from the market based, business perspective. Still, at least one of the speakers felt very odd to me. I personally am more interested in making sure that people have some sort of access to the Internet first. As it is, I feel like we have spent hours discussing the definitional issues of this topic and a long time discussing "basic access" and didn't really come to a conclusion. It feels strange to keep going, when we haven't reached any sort of concensus.
As for being skeptical of my skepticism...I have the priveledge of choosing not to have the Internet at home but using it elsewhere, when needed. Maybe if I had never had access to the Internet at libraries and didn't even have a telephone company that would give me a phone, I would feel differently--probably.
Also, do I not know what the internet has to offer me? I have heard that said more than once, that "if people only knew..." I am questioning that and I am questioning myself.
( I guess I did write a long time again after all...and I still didn't ask a direct question)

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