Growing up in the Digital Divide Era

When reflecting on how technology came into my life, I am fortunate enough to have had an environment around me that taught me how to navigate technology. Many people around the world didn’t have that opportunity, and in turn, they have been left in the dark. Being apart of Generation Z means that you grew up while the world was being taken over with technology. From your first razor cell phone to the mysterious “cloud,” we were, and still are, constantly being bombarded with “the next big thing” in technology. We have seen basic communication change, and this has made me into the person I am today; someone who has had the opportunity to attend college, be apart of the social media takeover, and to be a step away from a phone or computer at all times. All the while, the digital divide has been growing just as technology has. Now, despite the vast knowledge our world has about the digital divide, it seems like bridging the gap isn’t going to occur anytime soon.

As a student and someone who has to opportunity to gain entry to the online community, I see myself as an important part of the digital divide. Austin, Texas is a city that is occupied with hip, up-to-date, young students and professionals. The fact that I live in this city and go to college says something. It portrays that I have the opportunity to be a part of a society where people are online and “connected.” When everywhere you go people are always online, you are not exposed to what things are like even a neighborhood away.

GenZ

GenZ

The Pew Research Center states, “15 percent of American adults have no access to the Internet. Thirty percent lack broadband access at home, with rates lowest among the poor, the elderly and racial minorities.” These numbers are astronomically worse in third world countries. Some people in the United States and even more people across the world are not able to reach the online society that is the Internet. How does someone who doesn’t have access to a computer know how to type? How does someone who doesn’t know how to type figure out how to navigate the Internet? How does someone who doesn’t know how to navigate the Internet help himself or herself prosper in today’s society? Karen Mossberger, director of the public affairs school at Arizona State University, says, “It’s virtually impossible to look for a job without access to the Internet.”

Growing up in a school that had computers and necessary resources for the students, with parents who were some of the first computer and cell phone consumers, was something that was the norm for me. My reality is a far off dream to so many people in the world, and I had the ability to see the gap between what my reality is versus others’. During this growth of technology, a paradox was ever so present in my mind. Here in the United States I was part of a community that had the same opportunities that I did, when traveling to visit family in Nicaragua multiple times a year, I saw another world. A world where the idea of a computer was far off, and getting a good education was solely for the people that could afford the private American school. This reality in Nicaragua was isolating to most of the country’s population. Not many people in the United States, and specifically Austin, know what this looks like. When I loose my phone or my computer breaks, and it feels like the end of the world, this reality is in the back of my mind. How does it feel when your Internet is not working? It’s awful.

I look back and feel so grateful that I have had the opportunity to have access to the Internet as I have pursued my education and have grown as a person thus far. I am someone who has had the privilege to grow up where Internet access was never a question; it has been something that has been expected ever since elementary school. Seeing the other side of the digital divide has made me who I am and who I present myself to society as.

One thought on “Growing up in the Digital Divide Era

  1. This might be the best blog post I have reviewed thus far, and you’re number 6. First, I think you may have said Generation X when referring to our generation. We are considered Generation Y, or Millenials, so make sure you make this change when doing your amplification. As for the content of your post, you have really good stuff here. Your references are honestly “off the chain” (<—– this is a reference, too). I think some statistical data and quotes from scholarly sources never hurt in writing, and you used them well to aid the points you introduced before them. I really liked what you discussed in the 4th paragraph, explaining how a place that lacked technology seemed like an entirely different world. You seem to know what you are doing here, so other than recommending you briefly touch on other aspects of the divide and how they relate to both you and members of the "different world", I do not have much to suggest. You did a good job tying things up in the end up with a realization of your fortune, a nice way to end the post. Great work so far and it seems that all you need to do to complete you amplification is to expand. Do that and you should be good to go.

    As for the figurative device, you already included an awesome one! Nice incorporation of a climax (which I had no idea about before visiting the website Jake recommended) when you say "How does someone who doesn’t have access to a computer know how to type? How does someone who doesn’t know how to type figure out how to navigate the Internet? How does someone who doesn’t know how to navigate the Internet help himself or herself prosper in today’s society?" This puts emphasis on the necessity for technology in daily life. When you mention the paradox surrounding the digital divide, perhaps include a paradox for the hell of it. Other than that, you're most definitely on track. Way to go.

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