Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Digital divide

a computer screen, blue with the word 'you' written on itI think that there's a new digital divide opening up, and it's not as simple as whether you know how to work your desktop computer -- it's about whether or not you realize that there's an immense and important social space out there. We often laugh about elderly Senators who don't know what email is (or who think of the Internet as a series of tubes), but really there's a mental shift that occurs between just shifting your phone calls into email and developing unique relationships entirely derived from online contact (or almost entirely conducted there).

This is different from the ubiquity of connection provided by constant messanging and the like, but related, in that it represents a change in our definition of friends and in our ways of building meaning, and also a shift from viewing a computer as a tool to seeing it as a transparent access to a separate set of spaces out there in the cloud. You either have a visceral understanding of this or you are missing a mode of awareness of the world.

(link via rc3.org)

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