Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Inevitable Internet

Everyday, Internet access is granted to new people for the first time. By nature, the Internet has a Democratic purpose and structure that drives it to incorporate new people in a free exchange of communication. Thus, when it was first designed for strictly military use, it was eventually realized that the technology was being confined. It is undeniable that the digital divide will continue to diminish as social networking, wireless technology,and Internet access stretch across the globe. The Internet is a relatively young technology in comparison to others that people use everyday. Much like all those prior, the Internet creates a divide in those who adopt it and those who don't for several reasons. However, with the breakthrough of social networking and wireless communication, more people than ever will demand web access be provided for them.

According to frank E.X. Dance, what drives the closure of the digital divide is people's access to other people on the Internet. The Internet allows us to reach people on both an intimate level, and also a mass level. The original communication purpose of the Internet that connected people to other like never before was e-mail. Today it seems to many that e-mail may have been a mere stepping stone on the path to the social networking we all take part in today, and what the future may bring in terms of people communicating with others without boundaries.

Eventually, when more and more cities of the world become wireless, other nations will demand access to this technology. The developed nations should in turn provide them with the resources necessary for equal access to the Internet. Eric A. Zimmer and Christopher D. Hunter present the possible risk associated with Internet access in these nations. They say that people fear risks that are both, 'unknown and dreadful". This would be the reason why people fear the risk of toxic waste more so than bicycles. In reality however, more people die a year from bicycle accidents than exposure to toxic waste. Although we can admit some Internet risks are still unknown, it seems to be the view in developed and Democratic nations that a free flow of opinion is not dreadful. However, in developing and non-democratic nations, the notion of an unfetter exchange of ideas that may possibly lead to revolution or civil war is a dreadful one. This is wha continues to divide the world on the web for the time being.

1 comment:

Lance Strate said...

But Zimmer and Hunter are more concerned with what they see as overreaction to issues like internet pornography and child molestors online.