Norris’ article dealt with identifying, assessing and partitioning the so called “digital divide.” She considered it to be a threefold phenomenon: the global divide, the social divide, and the democratic divide. The impact and severity of these differences has yet to be made fully clear as the internet is only in its “adolescence.”
The global divide is the disparity in connectivity between highly developed nations like the US or Sweden and developing nations. The main question she adressed was what did the future hold for these nations? Would it be more likely that the internet will allow the developed nations to pull even further ahead of developing ones, or will it be the leveler of the playing field? I am inclined to agree with that the gap between these nations will widen in the next few decades. Currently, computing is becoming increasingly sophisticated and digital technology is exponentially expanding with new products like the iPad hitting the market and setting the bar for competitors. However, in third world countries, they are still struggling for basic access to a computer, let alone the internet. Economic, social, and political changes must occur in these countries in order for them to at least slightly bridge this gap. Yet, when the time comes, developed nations will have been living in the network age for several generations.
The Social Divide focuses on the disparity in connectivity of people within the same nation and whether the Internet maintains the inequalities, creates new ones, or will bring a parity of classes closer to site. These inequalities are already visible in the statistics; they show that there are distinctions between class, race, and gender. Norris wonder not whether there will be inequality in the future–that much is certain–but whether relative inequalities in use will follow the same trajectory as previous forms of “communication technologies.” Only time will tell, but it seems to me that Internet access and training is the keystone to bridging this divide. The economic and social barriers which place individuals into lower classes will likely be the factors preventing their connectivity. Already there are attempts to provide free Internet access to members of these classes who cannot other get it, but they are being done retroactively, almost two decade into the life of the Internet.
The democratic divide adresses whether or not digital technologies will alter or enforce the distribution of political power. The two the camps, the cyber-optimists and the cyber-pessimists, disagree on this highly contentious point. The former would argue that widespread Internet use will promote political participation and awareness. The latter would argue that increased connectivity will sustain inequalities and breed new ones because the technology-intensive nature of the Internet will benefit the rich in the long and short run. Norris argues that both are two specific and suggests that digital technologies have the ability to mediate between the state and the citizen, noting that “insurgents” as being most greatly impacted. The insurgents she describes, being less hindered, are more likely to adapt and reinvent themselves via the Internet than are institutions rooted in tradition or already owning large amounts of assets. She goes on to say that the Internet is most exploitable by the most rich, but after that those with significantly fewer resources can use ingenuity to nearly replicate the advantages attained by the rich. I agree with here position here. In this capacity, the Internet can provide a great leveling of the playing field between established political institutions and new ones which want to disrupt the establishment. Unlike the cyber-optimist point of view that people will magically become interested in politics because the Internet is available, Norris’ situation is much more likely because the interest and desire already exists and is just channeled through the Internet.
Serious Blogger!! Did That 70′s Show get discontinued? This person’s blog is entwined entirely with her life. It seems to be an outlet for here stress and a way to write about her feelings.
Blogging from hospital bed–>dependence on it.
“You can’t convey tone over a blog.” This is a more old fashioned view. Many people find ways around this barrier.
Wilson’s porn video is evidence of how new forms of media can be preserved forever.
“Sometimes it’s easier to open up to people who aren’t looking at you” Pure friendship like Carter describes may be easier via the internet because barriers are removed and honesty can be easier.
Blogging as expression v audience?
-Seems to have started as a way to connect with people, but the following is toxic: her primary motivation is the number of people who view her blog. This cycle continually perpetuates itself and pushes the blogger into revealing more and more of his/herself on the blog.
I went bowling on Thursday for the first time since 8th grade–it was fantastic.
Now back to social capital…
The two articles were studies into the way that SNS are most frequently and most effectively used. The one study focused on Facebook usage amongst college students while the other focused on a corporate SNS called Beehive. Beehive is IBM’s internal SNS which hosts interactions between members and provides a forum for exchanges or professional and personal information. The results of both studies suggest that increased use of the SNS promotes a growth of social capital. Both also showed that the SNS was a useful tool in not only maintaining old connections (bonding social capital) but in creating new ones as well (bridging social capital). However, the relative prevalences of these connections are based on a variety of factors. These factors were lost on me amid the statistics.
I think that Beehive cannot be compared to Facebook because of its definitive limits. While one could not possibly meet or connect with everybody in either SNS, Facebook provides the larger scope. Additionally, Facebook, for the casual user, tends to reflect a part of one’s life removed from work. This could be a major reason why Beehive was not a daily part of most of the user’s routine: people tend to separate socializing and work. This does not hold true for the frequent users. They seemed to connect the work hemisphere with the social one and used Beehive to build social capital. Yet, I suspect for most employees using Beehive, there is an omnipresent concern that they may be judged in their workplace for the content posted on their pages. For this reason, I do not believe that people would be as open and honest as they might on an open SNS like Facebook.
Love it. This said, I don’t take it seriously at all. I usually go on to laugh at people acting like idiots. Chatroulette differs more organized online communities because of its structure. Instead of grouping people by common interests or reasons for being online, it is totally random. For this reason, you can only have a relationship with someone for as long as both choose not to press next. Lasting friendships cannot be formed with this medium, except possibly in extremely rare circumstances which would require communication outside of Chatroulette.
The video function also is a key factor to why people use Chatroulette the way they do. Seeing the person’s face may make it harder to form the “pure friendships” that Carter describes because people instantly make judgements just from a cursory glance. It may also be harder to bear one’s soul to a person while looking them in the eyes. Perhaps blind intimacy of this sort is better left blind. In terms of the perverts, namely the masturbaters, I can only assume that they enjoy having an audience, and that, in the end, why not?
I especially like one of the last points that traces of online activity offer new potential for research. It is so interesting because online activity is sometimes considered not real because it exists in cyberspace. However, these interactions are between real people and represent real evidence of social values.
Facebook-private or public? I believe that this content should be considered private. I thought of an analogy to try and prove my point: i think one could compare a profile to a house. Just because a stranger can see your house and make judgements about you doesn’t mean he knows you. In terms of permission to enter, there must be some form as permission granted. A public profile can not be used as evidence if permission is not granted just as an unlocked door of a house does not give anyone the right to open it.
Impression management seems to be the primary purpose of facebook users in our age group. More specifically the profile information tends to be used for this. For example, a person knows what his favorite books and movies are but he chooses to list them for the impresssions they give to others. This affords users a high degree of latitude in molding peoples perceptions of them by adding certain information and omitting others.
I fell quite squarely into the teenager category of myspace users. I created one simply because my friends had one and it provided an alternative means of communicaton with them. It provided a way to measure ones social status because communication between members was public. It was clear who was “in” with who.
I have never heard of friendster bit judging by the article it seems that ots time was shortlived. The lack of trust between users and owners was key I feel. On sns, people feel that their autonomy is both sacred and expected.
Just found my old xanga and myspace…thoroughly embarrassed.I find that the way I write reflects my attitude and self perception at different periods in my life