There is no question that technology has become an essential tool in our everyday lives. The rapid growth of technology has changed the way we live, for the better or worse some may say and has ultimately produced the digital divide. The digital divide refers to the difference between people who have easy access to the internet and those who do not. Although this issue may sound insignificant compared to other world matters, it has caused a great distinction socially, economically and educationally between the privileged and underprivileged. In this blog post, I am going to analyze the magnitude of the internet and the role it has played in my life, as well as the digital division it has created among societies.
Before this class, I never really understood the significance of the internet and how much influence it has on our lives on a daily basis. My phone and my computer have become such a huge necessity in my daily routine that without it I feel totally lost and disconnected with the world 🌎. The first and last thing I do to start or end my day always consists of using my phone. This device not only allows me to expand my knowledge base and stay up-to-date with current events, but it also serves as a way for me to communicate with people 🗣️. I never realized how much I depended on the internet until one night out I lost my phone. The following days without a phone made me more aware of what it was like for those who cannot or are not able to access the internet, and let me tell you, it was very difficult to function without it.
Personally, I have been fortunate to grow up with the access of the internet at home as well as schools I have attended. Starting from elementary school to now, technology such as TVs 📺, computers 💻, iPads and iPhones 📱 have always been provided for assignments as well as leisure. In fact, learning new material through online sources is very encouraged in and outside of school. With information constantly at our finger-tips, we are capable of knowing and learning just about anything. However, people in underprivileged areas that lack these luxuries are not able to reach their full potential educationally or socially. Not only does this hinder their capacity of knowledge, but it also inhibits their ability to receive a well-paid job. The internet provides several professional websites, such as LinkedIn, that refer people to successful jobs that would be of interest to them. Without access to the internet, people are unaware of the abundant amount of resources and opportunities that could greatly impact their lives for the better. As the future moves more digital, I fear it may be detrimental for the underprivileged and further the division even more.
Although having access to the internet is not necessarily imperative to our lives, it does have several benefits. One of which is that the power of the internet allows us to not only connect with one another 24/7 ⏰but also allows us to create an identity for one’s self via social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. These platforms are a way for us to express our own personalities through images, tweets and posts and connect with people with similar interests. People are able to create a bond with other users through social media without even meeting them face-to face. From here, advertisers place us in what is known as our own “filter bubble,” which has ultimately changed the game of marketing. This strategy helps companies personalize what ads we see on our news feed based off our interests, likes, posts etc. In effect, personalization can facilitate attention to resources that could ultimately advance our intelligence and well-being 😄.
All in all, the advancement of technology has created opportunities that we never once thought we could have. From educational resources, to job opportunities, to networking and socializing, the internet has empowered me to accomplish anything my heart desires. The digital divide has resulted in inequality and prevents those who aren’t able to afford or access the internet at crucial disadvantage educationally, economically and socially. Being so, I believe that it is vital for the digital gap between the privileged and underprivileged to be closed.