Thursday, April 14, 2005

Different Digital Divides?

We have discussed throughout this class about the different internet users and why people aren’t going online. I wonder why so many articles have been dedicated to why people chose not to go online, or why people have stopped going online. To me the true digital divide is when a group of people can’t get online. Does anyone else feel this as well? I only think of the digital divide when someone wants to be online, but has no means of doing so. They are at a disadvantage because the option isn’t there. And as for going online as a choice or a necessity, it all depends. I think any form of “infotainment” isn’t necessarily part of the digital divide. I’d probably be happy reading my physical copy of Entertainment Weekly every week, but I love to read Entertainment Weekly online every day. I don’t have to, but I have that option. However, when it becomes mandatory to file your taxes online, suddenly certain parts of society are put at a disadvantage, either by paying a high premium to file paper copies, or risk the consequences of not filing at all (maybe this is a bit extreme, but still a feasible situation in the future). I just wonder if the focus of solving the digital divide is concentrated on the wrong people.

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