Can We Repair the Digital Divide?

September 14, 2009 at 11:45 pm 1 comment

Today in our iMedia Theory and Audience Analysis class, we broke into groups to discuss the following questions: What is one operational definition of “interactivity”? What should the new word for “audience” be? If we redefine the word “audience” instead of coming up with an alternative, what would the new definition be? What are the key legacy theories in communications that remain most vital in an interactive age and why?

The question that I think is most important to address here is the last one for what it means for society on a larger scale–what are the key legacy theories in communications that remain most vital in an interactive age and why? In my analysis of a crowdsourced text for class, I discussed the knowledge gap theory–and I while I agree with my classmates that the uses and gratifications theory is important in the coming future, I think that the knowledge gap theory is even more important.

The uses and gratifications theory essentially says that users ingest media and technology based on their wants and needs, and with the rapidly changing new technologies, these wants and needs will change just as rapidly.

The knowledge gap theory says that their is a gap between the “information-rich” and the “information-poor”. With the passage of time, this gap closes a little as older technologies trickle down to the information-poor and they finally have access to them. At the same time, new technologies are being created that again widen the gap. I want to know what this means for society if we are steadily moving into a “hyperconnected world”: Will the information-poor have a place in the society of the future? Will there be vouchers or measures implemented that help integrate them into the information-rich society?

In society that is measuring success upon technological capabilities and knowledge, if we don’t address this issue now, the gap will turn into a chasm.

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Entry filed under: COM 530- Theory & Analysis.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Happy One Web Day! « The Future Freaks Me Out!  |  September 22, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    […] think this particular question resounds with me because it makes me think about my earlier post on the digital divide–but at that time, I was focused on U.S. society. This new statistic makes me realize that the […]

    Reply

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