Global Digital Divide

When I think about how much the internet has become a part of my daily life, it scares me a little bit. Even education wise, most of my classes post assignments on Blackboard and have us turn in things electronically.  That’s something that would be unheard of 30 years ago. Living in the United States, it’s easy to take for granted the amount of access to the Internet that we have.  According to Newsweek, Internet access varies across the world from 90% in some countries, to almost none in others. I’ve witnessed this statistic first hand, when this 9 year old boy named Kevin came to the United States from Ecuador on a medical mission.

My mom works at a hospital that supports an organization called Blanca’s House. Around 2 years ago, while Blanca’s House was on a mission in Ecuador, Kevin was needed to come back to the United States to get a surgery to remove a malformation on his face. He was here for about 9 months, and a good friend of my mom’s fostered him in her home for the time he was here. Since he came to the U.S. alone, he would Skype with his parents whenever it was possible. It’s easy for us to Skype or FaceTime with someone, it’s basically just the click of a button.  But in order for Kevin to video chat with his family, his parents had to walk miles just to get to the town computer center where they would be able to talk to their son. They had to plan their video chat a few days in advance. He was amazed at the ease of having access to the Internet at his fingertips while he stayed here.

It did surprise me learning that the United States is number 7 out of the top 10 economies on the Global Information Technology Report.  I feel like in our society, the Internet and technology is such a huge part of our lives and I thought we would have been up a little higher.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Global Digital Divide

  1. I agree, I was also really surprised when I saw that the US ranked 7. Through the research and reading your blog, we really do take advantage of the internet. I remember when I studied abroad in France, we were always on the hunt for wifi. The attachment we have with the internet is a little crazy. I can’t imagine how the younger generation feel.

    Like

  2. I liked reading about your first hand experience with this digital divide. It is very interesting to actually speak to someone who comes from a place with so little access to technology. While technology is not needed to survive like food or water, it has become so engraved in our culture as means to communicate it is like it has become another daily essential. It makes me think what I would do today if I had to walk miles to reach a computer to communicate with my family back home, it is some what heart wrenching to think about because we all take the technology for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow… reading about someone’s amazement at having internet access makes me feel wildly ashamed for complaining about weak wifi signals whenever I’m in the basement of Breslin. Relevant to the very topic that our class is meant to address, I realize how ironic it is that we rely heavily on our own access to media in order to even KNOW that other countries don’t have the same access. Without our resources we wouldn’t have the knowledge of others’ lack of resources. Really makes you think.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s