The Internet has never been something I’ve thought much about, and I certainly haven’t spent enough time thinking about the digital divide among all human beings. My Internet use is so fluent and frequent that now it’s more a part of me rather than it is an external activity. If I don’t have a connection I feel as if a piece of me is stuck in this external void that I have no access to. The Internet might as well be embedded in my veins.
I was lucky enough to grow up comfortable. I never worried about whether or not there was going to be food for me, let alone not have Internet on any given day. I’ve had a computer in my household since I was 2. I’ve never known anything else. I cannot even begin to comprehend the struggles people with no connection to the Internet face. Which is personally really frustrating because it’s really hard to relate to the sufferers of the digital divide, especially since society does such a great job at concealing it’s true destruction. This class has opened my eyes exponentially to the dangers involved with the web and how prevalent the digital divide has always been, and probably always will be. I lived in a happy oblivion, not knowing how much of the US, let alone the world, still to this day have very restricted access to the internet.
I remember using the computer as a kid like it was yesterday. Trying to figure out how to use the internet web browser, using the computers calculator to help with math homework, researching science fair ideas, and so much more. I had the entire set of kiddie games that helped you learn to type and read. It wasn’t until I was in 7th grade that I had my first personal laptop, because my middle school logic told me that since all of my friends had their own computers it was only fair that I had one. Almost instantly my world became social media with AIM, MySpace, and YouTube. I have grown up knowing that the Internet was the future, and that its importance is hard to match.
Nowadays, I have my laptop, my iPad, and my iPhone so that I’m connected almost everywhere I go. My daily routine includes waking up and checking instagram and my email, checking reddit in the afternoon, and using the Internet to do homework. It is so intertwined in my life that there would be no life without it. I use it for my art, my learning, and my communication. I also don’t put too much thought into my privacy online. By saying that I mean that I’ve accepted that this is an Internet age and everyone’s information is more or less out there for grabs. I try to stay smart in what I post online but, as we’ve discussed in class, it’s nearly impossible to hide.
Learning about the disparities among our country in regards to the digital divide has opened my eyes as to how lucky I have been to have a computer and Internet for practically my entire life. It has also helped by realize that the digital divide needs to start closing before we become a purely Internet based society.