Growing up, I was always fortunate enough to have a computer with internet access. I never had to go through any trouble trying to complete assignments or keeping up with the digital world. Even though I didn’t have to worry about accessing the internet, the same can’t be said for many others. The digital divide is something that goes much deeper than just ‘not having internet access’. People aren’t connected with the rest of the world due to geography, age, wealth, literacy, confidence, and much more. I never really thought about how not having internet access could affect people since I never had that problem. Now-a-days, having access to the internet is a necessity rather than a luxury because of how much people depend on it. I depend on the internet. I depend on the internet much more than one should 😕. For example, I can’t be without my phone for a whole day. I check my phone when I wake up, when I’m sitting bored in class, when I’m awkwardly in the elevator with a stranger, when I’m walking to class, etc. In other words: I’m dependent on my phone for most of my day. But why? Why do I constantly need to look at my phone? Is my existence based on my phone? Is it because I feel most happy when I look at the screen in front of me? 🤔 I honestly don’t know. I don’t know how I play into all of this. I look around and see this to be the case with my peers too. Almost everywhere I look, someone is on their phone or laptop.
And the more that I think about it, the more I realize that we all are playing a part in the digital divide. Even though we don’t know it, we’re still affecting it. I have internet, so I don’t think about the people that don’t, my peers have internet, so they don’t think about the people that don’t, but how are we deepening the divide? I thought about this for a while and I didn’t come to one single conclusion, but I had an idea. By constantly looking at screens, we give the internet the power to divide the people; we don’t think about the less fortunate because most of us on campus are always surrounded by technology, but by using the internet, we’re furthering the divide. We’re keeping ourselves further from the population that doesn’t have internet access, thus creating a deepening of the divide without realizing it. The internet is like the ocean. Being able to connect with millions and millions of other fish, the internet provides an outlet; an outlet to escape reality or an outlet to just wander and surf, to be consumed by. The internet has waves; waves that you can choose to get lost in or swim away from. The deep blue ocean water is there to be mesmerized by or just appreciate from afar 🌊. Just as the ocean seems to be never ending, the same can be said about the internet. Most of us are lost in the vastness of the web and it causes us to ignore the problem of division.