The Digital Divide

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The Digital Divide

A new generation is forming the way its members will be written into history books. These are the members of the digital culture, a lifestyle relying on the use of technology and the Internet as a tool of communication and information-sharing. Nevertheless, as with the generations of the past, some individuals are not participating in this new cultural experience. It is common knowledge that some citizens do not use the Internet. Many do not use the Internet simply due to economic or social restrictions that prevent them from easily accessing the technology. However, what is not as common is why some members of our society are even choosing not to use the Internet. “Access, Civic Involvement, and Social Interaction” from the American Behavioral Scientist compare users and nonusers of the Internet across the United States: “8% were dropouts in 1995, 11% in 1996, 10% in 1997, and 11.5% in 2000” (Katz et al., Access 411). No matter how small the statistic is, a choice not to use the Internet must have legitimate reasons and may result in conflicting effects. However, while it shows the amount of never users to be shrinking, the amount of former users is growing, implying that some people are already logging off the Internet while most are logging on. A lack of participation in the digital culture could have an effect on society, including both those who use the Internet, and those who do not. It is possible that either users or nonusers could have an advantage in the end due to their choice. Although the numbers are a minority, the nonusers must be analyzed and predictions need to be made about the reasons and effects of not...

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...aythornthwaite, Caroline. “The Internet in Everyday Life.” American Behavioral Scientist. Vol. 45 No. 3, November 2001 363-382.

Katz, James, and Philip Aspden. Communications of the ACM. Vol. 40 No. 4. April 1997.

Katz, James, Ronald Rice, and Philip Aspden. “Access, Civic Involvement, and Social Interaction.” American Behavioral Scientist. Vol. 45 No. 3, November 2001 405-419

National Telecommunications and Information Administration. “A NATION ONLINE: How Americans Are Expanding Their Use Of The Internet.” September 2001. 21 February 2003

Sources Consulted indexbp.htm digital_divide.html luddites02.jpg maharey/divide/01-01.htm

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