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March 13, 2009

Digital Divide

The discussion we had on Wednesday about the digital divide really made me think of what would be the best way to decrease the digital divide. I really like the idea of one laptop per child, but I don't know how realistic it would be. One point that somebody else made was that you can't have one without the other, which is a good point. If you give every child a laptop and that don't have Internet access, how much good can it do? It goes the other way around too. If you provide everybody with Internet access, it's not going to do much good if they don't have a computer.

I think it is extremely important for people to know how to use a computer and the Internet. We are in a time where technology skills are highly valued. A lot of jobs are based upon computer skills and knowledge of the Internet. Without these skills, getting a job would be hard. That's why I think technology centers are a great tool. It let's people learn these important skills with tools that are provided for them.

I think if more people are able to acquire laptops and computers, satellites would be very beneficial. They're able to reach areas that other Internet providers don't see a profit in. It's also cheaper to run since it doesn't cost any more to reach one guy in California than another guy in New York. Satellites also have the potential to have a higher reliability than cable and DSL.

The digital divide is something that should be addressed since it's an important issue. We need to find reliable ways to provide Internet access and computers to people. I think this can be really beneficial to the whole world since these skills are so highly valued.

Is This Man Cheating on His Wife?

I found the article "Is This Man Cheating on His Wife?" extremely interesting. Ric Hoogerstraat spends hours a day on Second Life. He has a complete second life in this virtual world compared to the one in the real world. He seems so devoted to this virtual world that he neglects everything else. His wife has joined online support groups and her daughter has tried to help her mother move out of the house. The title of this article really is the ultimate question?

Is having a Second Life account considered cheating if you are married in the real world? I would say yes. This man's day is spending his entire day in front of a computer screen. He's married to another woman on Second Life and even owns his own private island. "In the game, cyber sez, marriage and divorce are common" (p. 2). Isn't that cheating? There is no physical contact in this game, but there is a strong emotional connection between Ric and his virtual wife, whose real name is Janet Spielman.

Ric was searching for a distraction from what had been happening in his real life and he was drawn to the Internet. This happens to many people. It as an appeal to be someone who you are not on the Internet. Andrew Keen would not think highly of this and would say that this is a dangerous problem with Web 2.0. There are healthy distractions on the Internet and there are unhealthy distractions and I think Ric has found an unhealthy distraction. It is really impacting his real life relationships.

This can be a dangerous thing. We have to be careful about how we use the Internet. Ric would be classified as an Internet addict. I think in the long run, if he doesn't change his behavior, he will end up ruining his marriage.