Reflecting on Digital Divides

Dom left a comment on my blog posing a question as to whether the digital divide will grow or decrease. This caused me to reflect on my blog post and extend it by posing another question which is to the extent that digital inequalities are either simply mirrored or reproduced through the web? I briefly answered this question with an example from my personal experience, by thinking about this comment I was effectively able to extend my original answer and this also helped when it came to replying to Luke’s blog. With this newly formulated question in mind I looked up Sharma and Brooker’s paper regarding racism denial on twitter and set about answering the question that I had come up with to see if the web was widening the digital divide (2016). I then was able to relate this new knowledge to what Luke had written.

Sharing my knowledge on Phoebe’s blog led to a reply with a link to an ONS report on internet use as it relates to factors such as age. This was a theme that had I discussed in my original blog post. However this study suggested that inequalities may be shrinking as the number of people aged 65-74, and 75+ increased significantly between 2011 and 2017 (see Figure 2 below).

Figure 2_ Recent internet use in 2011 and 2017 by age group, UK

As for the development of my digital skills, I found that creating a diagrammatic representation of what I identified to be the dominant groups in online spaces based on the two papers I cited in my original blog post allowed me to visualise and therefore to think about the research in a more direct and engaging way then I am used too. Additionally by making the diagram it made me think about the similarities between the two papers more so then simply writing would have.

Word Count: 300

Refererences

Dom’s comment on my Blog: https://uosm2008rd.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/digital-divides-who-controls-the-web/#comment-4

Comment made on Luke’s Blog: https://lukeslivingontheweb.wordpress.com/2018/02/26/digital-differences-and-inequality/#comment-12

Comment made on Phoebe’s Blog: https://phoebetaylor55.wordpress.com/2018/02/26/i-am-digitally-lucky/#comment-10

My original Blog post: https://uosm2008rd.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/digital-divides-who-controls-the-web/

Ons.gov.uk. (2018). Internet users in the UK – Office for National Statistics. [online] Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/itandinternetindustry/bulletins/internetusers/2017 [Accessed 5 Mar. 2018].

Sharma, S. and Brooker, P. (2016) ‘#notracist: Exploring racism denial talk on Twitter’ in Daniels, J. et al (Eds) Digital Sociologies
http://opus.bath.ac.uk/53206/1/Sharma_Brooker_notracist_digital_sociology_preprint.pdf

 

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