My personal experiences with the digital divide have been minor incidences. There have been a few times within my college career when I have encountered problems with media. For example, at my old college we never were assigned or taught how to use programs like iMovie or Phototshop. When I came to SLU, it seemed like most of the students knew what they were doing with their assignments.
One idea that stuck with me from the assigned readings was the “e-Government” on the slideshow. Considering the possibility that all government forms and information could potentially be online, it made me think of the older generation and more specifically, my grandparents. Neither set of my grandparents has owned a computer ever since I can remember. Simple things like e-mail would be impossible for them to comprehend. Therefore, I think if the government were to take most of it’s business online, they would lose many senior citizens who have been lost in society’s transition from paper to digital.
It is important tot help people cross the digital divide because it makes everyone else’s life a lot easier. I think one big problem with technology is that when people feel like they are left behind, they lose motivation to catch up. At least in my experience, when I have tried to teach my grandparents how to turn on a DVD, they are less willing to listen and more likely to just have someone do the job for them. Whether it is grandparents and computers or college students in iMovie, it really is not that hard to learn the skill as long as you are determined.
To help people continue to cross the digital divide, it is important to have an open mind and the willingness to help. Most of the time, it takes a lot of patience to teach someone how to use technology. When people learn how easy it is, it is hard to understand how someone cannot do a simple task. I think classes, like the one’s being offered by the North Carolina public libraries, are a great idea because they will teach people who are willing to learn the necessary skills to take on the digital divide.