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Tag Archives: Digital Divide
Rushkoff’s last 4 commands of program or be programmed are very important to someone living in contemporary times and those who fall into the digital divide. Rushkoff’s 7th command is Social. If a person is without digital media, they are not exposed to digital bias. “Digital media is still bias towards the social.” (Rushkoff 96). Those without computers don’t experience bias at all. The 8th command is Fact. The internet is what separates fact from fiction. You can make any claim you want online, but in a matter of time, it will be proven true or false by internet users. Without a computer, it is much harder to lie. People can read you easier face-to-face. This is also where society fails. We rely so much on the internet that having a face-to-face conversation can be quite challenging. The 9th command is Openness. The sharing of internet files is impossible without a computer. Rushkoff states that “Digital networks were built for the purpose of sharing resources, technologies, and credit on order to create it.” (Rushkoff 118). Sharing becomes very limited. The possibilities of sharing are endless if you have a computer and internet access. The 10th command is Program or be Programmed. Rushkoff says that “we must learn how to make the software, or risk becoming the software.” (Rushkoff 134). If someone does not contribute to the creation of software, that person becomes the software. There would be nothing going on that would involve a person in the software creating process.
In contemporary times, the commands that Douglas Rushkoff writes are important even if someone does not want a computer. This person is part of the digital divide because they are separated from digital media. Digital media should not be ‘shunned’ because “digital networks are biased toward social connections-toward contact” (Rushkoff 91) If someone refuses to use technology, then they are not connected to society. This is seen through the digital divide, since those who cannot connect to the ‘online community’ are noticed less often. Although people want to separate from technology because they think digital media is pointless, digital media is useful and needed for our society. Digital media is needed for our current society because “we must learn to tell the truth” (Rushkoff 108). The internet does have false information, but people want to know the truth and want it to be available to others. The digital divide makes this connection to the truth limited when someone does not have access to the internet. Our culture is composed of shared information online. Without being connected to the internet, then you cannot participate in sharing or obtaining certain information. For example, less newspapers and magazines are using hard copies because people are connected to the information online. Rushkoff’s main point is that if we do not program, then we will be programmed by our society. So people who separate themselves from technology because they do not want to be influenced are at the greatest risk of being influenced.
Considering Rushkoff’s last four commands of Program or Be Programmed, explain the importance of these commands for somebody living in contemporary times who may not have nor want to have a computer. What is of significance within Rushkoff’s argument about these four commands for somebody who may fall within the digital divide? (250 words; cite from the readings; due by the beginning of Tuesday’s class.)
Word Count @ 70 with prompt.
Rushkoff’s last four commands are:
People who do not want computers/do not have are left out of the loop. In terms of social groups, in many cases people attempt to “hijack” these connections for profit (93-94). Essentially Rushkoff is arguing that friends are not the content of the network but the connections that makes this network work. Do not sell your friends.
Rushkoff argues that if you can communicate well in the digital, you can communicate well in the nondigital. He claims that the more real and true our statements are, the further they travel (106). Those who do not use computers will lack the ability to do this. While somewhat true, there are many cases where this is not true. An example can be Three Cups of Tea.
Learning to differentiate from sharing and stealing allows us to promote openness without selfishness (115). Those without computers would be unable to differentiate between this when they do use a computer.
Program or be Programmed
If we don’t learn how to program, we risk being programmed ourselves (133). Those without a computer would risk being controlled by those who do program. High businesses who can manipulate it themselves.
The significance of all this to someone who falls into the digital divide is that those in the digital divide do not understand them. They would be easily manipulated by commercialization of their friends but also themselves. They would unintentionally steal because it’s something everyone does so maybe it’s okay (it’s not). This would breed an easily manipulated and selfish world.
As I went about my day without my smart phone and laptop, I now realize how dependent I am upon them. First I had no way to contact my boyfriend at all. Seeing as he doesn’t have a phone, our communication is strictly based through Facebook and school. Without my laptop we wouldn’t be able to socialize and interact unless it was in person. This correlated with Monroe’s “access divide”, where my frequency of my home computer was halted (9).
Secondly, my homework was affected. Seeing as I have an online class, my ability to access, complete, and submit my homework was halted. Furthermore, my contact with the professor is through email, so any chance I had of explaining myself was void. My dependency upon technology for school and work emphasizes Monroe’s “economic opportunity divide” where “my experience for taking a course online” was severely effected (9). In order to have figured out my homework I would have had to look up WSU’s number in a print version of Dex, call from a pay phone, and ask for my professor’s number.
Those who do not have access to a laptop or cell phone would not be able to complete an online class. They would have to commute to a public library or do their work at the university. Furthermore, they would have to do it when these establishments are open to the public. Looking up information would all have to be done by looking through a newspaper, phone book, or having access to a public library.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I COULDN’T DO IT. Just kidding. To be honest, I didn’t think that it was all that difficult. Personally I have a good divide myself between technology and reality in which I do not rely completely on wasting time on the internet or texting friends, etc. What I would typically do on the internet I would instead spend doing other hobbies such as solving puzzles or walking my dogs. This is what I feel when it comes to the digital divide for younger generations. Karen Mossberger and Caroline Tolbert mention that there is more to the digital divide than just the access divide and that it is divided into more categories (Pg 207). I can understand that the digital divide in a problem in a ever growing digital world but I can’t help but think about the fact that this ever growing digital world forces those who want to continue on in this world to learn and use media and that because of the rapid growth of technology in modernized countries that those in 3rd world countries were unable to catch up and those who were content with what they already had would be left behind and ridiculed to “get with the times”. Furthermore, it does not help that this new technology keeps remediating itself and so requires knowledge of the previous versions in order to full understand it. I believe that the only solution to the digital divide is to slow technological growth and give time for people to learn and adapt to this new technology but also to make this technology available to everyone.