Topic 1: Impact of Digital Differences

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Source: Rawpixel.com

The impact of digital differences on our interaction with the Web affects every facet of our lives, from using social media as an outlet of expression to starting an online business. Our online practice is a reflection of our beliefs, identity, cultural values, and attitudes. Yet it also depicts inequalities among others due to various social (rich vs poor), economic (communist vs socialist) and external factors (e.g. disabilities) that are not within our control (Halford, Davies & Dixon, 2017).

When we develop preconceive notions on how everyone should correctly use the Internet (e.g. create a social presence, contribute to an online community). This creates a stringent mentality that will only be more problematic in the future, as forcing a belief system onto others will only create resistance for digital visitors. It is interesting to note that older adults represent one of the fastest-growing groups using social networking sites (Smith & Zickuhr, 2012).

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Source: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

This trend can be due to many factors such as reconnecting with people from their past, finding a support system online to deal with chronic illness and even connecting with the younger generation. Although people age 18-29 have a head start when it comes to digital literacy. I believe the desire to learn and hunger for knowledge will precede any unfavourable situations such as lack of education; low household income and even age, to better improve their current predicament.

It is in the midst of adversity that knowledge is power.

People should maximise the Internet as a learning network as well as impart on values from their personal lives to a wider audience, creating a two-way communication. The Internet has positively impacted my life by giving me a voice through this blog, meeting other like-minded people and being more informed. The way we use the Internet in the future will inevitably change, but we should not fear change, instead, embrace it with open arms.

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Source: Original content

(Word Count: 296)
References

  1. Halford, Davies & Dixon, 2017. Digital differences – inequalities and online practices (online). Retrieved from: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/3/steps/263012 
  2. Smith & Zickuhr, 2012. Digital differences (online). Retrieved from: http://www.pewinternet.org/files/old-media/Files/Reports/2012/PIP_Digital_differences_041312.pdf

11 thoughts on “Topic 1: Impact of Digital Differences

  1. Thank you for the kind words Siew Min! I am a firm believe of adding quotes into a subject matter if it intrigues the reader and starts a conversation.

    Oh yes, there is no doubt that the older generation is the smallest group of internet users currently online, they are however steadily increasing their presence and using social media and even forums! Such as the popular site REDDIT, to reconnect with us millennials. 😉 Just like how your parents are trying to connect with you through Facebook!

    Technology is rapidly changing and no one should ever stop learning. Age is but a number after all (as long as you have your sanity). There are Community Centers in Singapore that carries out classes to teach the elderly how to use the internet, the risks/problems they may encounter and even how to setup an email address!

    It warms my heart knowing that some crazy cat lady out there could possibly send and share with me an email about her 60 cats in her home! Technology is truly amazing and should be shared with everyone no matter the age, even if they are digital visitors who grew up without the Internet.

    Like

  2. [UPDATED]

    Hey Marianne,
    Firstly, nice graphic on your digital interactions. I like how you took into consideration your other web usages besides social media.

    Secondly, I have to agree with your statement that the “desire to learn and hunger for knowledge will precede any situations”. Sharing a quote, “when there is a will, there is a way”.

    Thirdly, something that caught my eye about your post is your findings on older adults being one of the fastest growing groups using social networking sites. We often focus on how the older generation is the smallest group that make up the number of internet users but we fail to give credit to their quick growth.

    However having said that, with the rapid advancement of technology, do you think that there is a limit as to how much an elder can take in and learn?

    Cheers! (142 words)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the kind words Siew Min! I am a firm believe of adding quotes into a subject matter if it intrigues the reader and starts a conversation.

      Oh yes, there is no doubt that the older generation is the smallest group of internet users currently online. They are however steadily increasing their presence and using social media to reconnect with us millennials and even participating on forums too (e.g. REDDIT)! 😉 Just like how your parents are trying to connect with you through Facebook!

      Technology is rapidly changing and no one should ever stop learning. Age is but a number after all (as long as you have your sanity). There are Community Centers in Singapore that carries out classes to teach the elderly how to use the internet, the risks/problems they may encounter and even how to setup an email address!

      It warms my heart knowing that some crazy cat lady out there could possibly send and share with me an email about her 60 cats in her home! Technology is truly amazing and should be shared with everyone no matter the age, even if they are digital visitors who grew up without the Internet.

      Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/pa-to-launch-new-it-course-for-seniors-in-november

      Like

  3. Hello Marianne! I agree with you that “the desire to learn and hunger for knowledge will precede any unfavorable situations such as lack of education; low household income and even age, to better improve their current predicament.” Motivation to educate oneself can indeed beat any physical circumstances one is in. However, do you think that that age is a factor that we must look into as well when it comes to digital learning?

    I feel that age might no longer be a valid factor when we are “hungry” for knowledge. However, it may change how we interpret the news or even see the value in it. This is why I also agree with Shanelle’s post on bridging the gap between ages by “communicating the value of the internet should come before teaching technical skills.” What are your thoughts on how age affects motivation on digital learning?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Alicia, thank you for the kind words! I am a firm believer in educating the demographics (those born without the Internet & digital visitors), about the potential risks that comes with digital literacy.

      With the presence of online fraud, discrepancy of news and potential lost of personnel data through scam sites; this can put any user at risk without the basic knowledge on how to protect themselves on the Internet. Regardless of age, everyone should be aware on how to protect themselves online to create a safe environment for all. A personal experience of mine is teaching my parents not to download Malware or believe everything they see on Social Media!

      Honestly, age in relation with motivation as factors towards digital literacy is a subjective matter. I agree with Shanelle’s statement about educating the benefits of the Internet first before teaching the technical aspect of learning, but I also believe that if a culture that does not adapt to the times, will eventually fade into history. That being said, it is not necessary for the older generation to be to be competent in digital literacy. However, it is beneficial for them to be aware of the technological advancements that are available for them so as long as they are willing to learn.

      A good example of the encouraging the elderly to embrace the digital age is Singapore’s approach of having Community Centers teach basic digital learning skills to the older generation and the elderly! They learn skills such as creating an email address, prevention of online frauds and even accessing Social Media sites as some of the skills to stay relevant in this generation.

      Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/it-courses-now-available-for-seniors-at-community-clubs-8125636

      Liked by 1 person

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