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