Sunday, February 1, 2009

Technological Divide

Technology is amazing, and yet a little scary too. You can’t deny that it’s done a lot for society, but those benefits don’t come without a cost.

“There we were, in an era where time has become the ultimate commodity, waiting for access, my wireless-ready laptop a privilege made useless there on the wrong side of the track” (Tracie D. Hall, Race & Place, pg 33).

I think time has always been precious. It’s just lately that we’ve become so obsessed with it. And not just with time itself, but with how we can save it. Instead of waiting until Tuesday’s lecture to make an announcement, the professor can just send out an email. Awesome, especially if you have your own computer. If you don’t, though, it becomes a bit of a hassle. Now, along with making it to class each day, you have to make sure you can find a way to check your email everyday.

Though you have to admit that isn’t really that big a deal on campus. Computers with public access are scattered everywhere. In the real world, though, it’s harder to find access to technology like that. Libraries, like the library described in Hall’s article, become the main place to go. But all because you go there doesn’t mean you’ll be granted immediate access. And in an era where time is the “ultimate commodity,” many don’t have the time to wait, not unless it’s an emergency. As a result, it’s more likely they’ll fall behind the others who do have easy access. And so those who don’t have the technology fall behind the times and become a victim of what seems to be a newest kind of discrimination, that of the technological divide.

And so I think maybe we should pay more attention to libraries. Before, I’d still had the idea of them being a place to go and check out books, maybe read for a few hours and chill somewhere quiet. Now, I’m starting to see that they have a lot more potential, and the ability to really help out the community.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a very cogent point, Jessica. Time seems to restrict people who are already so busy from using public resources at their disposal because the resources are shared and may already be in use by someone else. Many people choose to purposely not buy a computer, opting rather to use public kiosks, for the purpose of saving money, but, unfortunately, the price for this financial decision is time. Ultimately, which is more important to us? Does one's age change the importance of time as opposed to financial wealth?