Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Are we creating a new elite?

As much as we try not to believe it, there are those who live without the constant clicking of the Internet to provide the background music to their lives. Some people are completely unaware of the advances made in social media.

Not everyone has access to the Internet. There are millions of people who are unaware and unable to be aware of all the Internet has to offer. The majority of people who have access to the Internet are in westernized countries. They have the privilege of owning a computer. They understand how to use one. On the other hand, there are those completely tuned out of this new club. They are unaware of the P.C. and we should not even bother asking said people about emerging media like RSS feeds and blogs.

More and more people are plugging in and then plug out because they end up confused with the ridiculous amount of information available. We not only limit ourselves to excluding those with no voice, we unintentionally or not exclude those with weaker voices.

Are we, as the technologically savvy few (with regards to the whole world, we are few), creating an unintentional elite group? Are we limiting ourselves to those with only an Internet accessible voice?

3 comments:

Lindsey Loughman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsey Loughman said...

Whenever new technology is created in the capitalist system it will be first be utilized by the elite. Its is only after a certain time and growth in sales that production costs can be lowered to reach the masses. This is of course the case with the internet as it was the case with televisions and telegraphs. This is not to say that we should not attempt to forward the spread of this technology to those with less opportunity but we must recognize that it takes time to do so.

So while I do not disagree in that grouping or class stratification is occurring, I think that it is a cycle that we must go through. We will strive to add new voices as we go along by educating, inspiring and opening the doors to our market place of ideas in the dream that we will an even greater global voice in the future.

sweetser said...

Nice topic to bring up, Tolu. You might be interested in the work of scholar Eszter Hargittai, who coins this as "second level digital divide." Check out this article by her for more info:
http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_4/hargittai/