Thursday, March 10, 2005

Women and IT

I found the Light article on gender and IT to be interesting when you consider the older statistics that we read in previous articles. Those statistics cited a greater percentage of women not being online. I always found that hard to beleive somehow. Having been in a technical field, I know that the atmosphere in workplaces that grow advanced tech is one of long hours, high-stress projects, and often unpredictable schedules. It was very difficult to have a family waiting for me and know that my other guy colleagues could just call up and say, I'm not coming home tonight until we finish this test, etc. Light wrote: "Women who engage with CMCs as the technology and reg framework develop have the opportunity to influence the deployment of this new medium..." That's the development side. Here's an article that addresses some of that further.

But we are looking at the USAGE side. Today, when I do a mental inventory of who is online IMing, emailing, googling, writing, researching, etc. I find that my male friends and colleagues spend less time on the computer. My daughter never left her IM unless she was asleep or in the shower. My son could care less if he ever IMs anyone, although girls ask him to get online all the time. Historically, didn't women co-opt the telephone technology for intercommunication? Yet how many women are involved, as Light argues, in the actual production of the technology? Yes, we're good little consumers...what could explain this?

1 comment:

  1. Touching on the different demographics of computer usage, I know that as a college sophomore IMing is the number one way that I keep in contact with my friends (and even my sister who is also a college student). Yet at the same time, I always have my cell phone with me just in case I want/need to call anyone. In my own experience, I've noticed that I stay better in contact with my girls from back home than any of my guy friends. In talking to them about this, my friends (of both genders agreed). The boys said that when they're actually sitting at their computer and not doing any work, they're either downloading songs or playing games. I honestly couldn't imagine going to college when IMing or email wasn't around, because it makes it so easy to stay in contact with people. Even if you don't talk to them everyday, you can check their away messages and see generally what they're up to. When will this all change? How old am I going to be when I don't have the desire to be on AIM all the time? Who knows...maybe I'll be regulating my kids IMing to have an away message up saying "taking the Tristan to soccer practice and Chloe to dance lessons, be back home for dinner around 6:30"?!?