Friday, May 01, 2009

Existence of the digital divide

Yes, there is a digital divide. As many others have pointed out, the divide isn't clear cut or even clearly defined. As such, there aren't any easy answers either. The obvious disparities, between those who have little to no access to technology, seem to be the ones that lawmakers, pundits, and the media choose to report on and emphasize. Those divides that are less visible, such as gender or ability divides, concern me even more sometimes. I don't have any real answers to the question of how to close these divides. I am hopeful that things can improve. It seems, at times, that the way our society has been structured will have to change radically for us to address it (I suppose it is rather fitting that I'm writing on May Day...hmmm. Not intentional, I swear). There seem to be psychological barriers, constructed around ideas of identity and who technology is "for"--and these are the parts of the digital divide I think we'll have the hardest time fixing. I'm hoping to address this and try to flesh out these ideas in my paper, particularly around themes of gender and cultural differences.

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