Acceptance of the Digital Divide by Minorities and the Ramifications of Technology Ingnorance.
There is a mounting influx of digital technologies that are embedding themselves in the lifestyles of people in the Black community. One of these is the act of Blogging, Webster’s dictionary describes blogging as, “diary: a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page“. African Americans arerapidly moving into the digital age that is embracing cosmopolitan ideas and multicultural nuances with the help of technology. The inclusiveness of technology is taking many minorities into the 21st century where they are connecting to the world. Blog (web log) technology is web based and inclusive to all people regardless of color and culture thus allowing a euphoria of ideas and intellectual exchanges. There is an estimated 8 million bloggers in America (The State of Blogging (2005), Pew Internet & American Life Project).
Change blends with the traditions of traditional living, lifestyle and technology inclusion; technology is infused in all aspects of life and is expanding daily. In order to compete African Americans need toaccept change and embrace the execution of productivity tools that areprevalent in the business and educational world. There is so much technology available in our businesses and schools of secondary and higher education, the question is, are our teachers and business leaders being taught the appropriate use of these technologies that are becoming relevant in the business and educational world, and are they willing toshare their knowledge? African Americans should be exposed to and using these technologies, if not they may again be hindered by ignorance and unprepared to do business on a global scale. The possibility of expanding and encouraging knowledge, requiring the proficiency of reading (literacy/comprehension) and writing (creative thought process). Blogging requires the participation of writers and readers involved in a symbiotic relationship that is dependent upon each other.
Statistically African Americans are behind in technology applications and implementation (digital divide) professionally and educationally. The areas of reading (literacy/comprehension) are challenging areas for those that struggle not too just read, but comprehend (understand) what they read The old adage of, “if you want to keep something secrete write it down”, is applied to those who do not strive to increase their knowledge through reading and educational exploration.
Blogging is a new world, a world of digitized created writings on a multitude of subjects that readers can ravagely consume and interactively respond to. Teacher, Joel Arquillas states, ”I like the fact that it is a living document. Students, parents, teachers and the community can comment or discuss the stories that I post”. Where does that leave our business community when it comes to gaining new incites in business and cultural awareness? The act of blogging opens doors to avenues of business ventures to expand literary and informational talents and understand the power of the reader or audience.
It has been said that blogging compares to the Guttenberg’s press (http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page). Arquillos also states that his students “learned the power of writing and being able to defend their view”. No one is excluded or segregated from connecting to others with like ideas, business interests or controversial opinions. All that is needed is for a person to connect. Why is blogging important to African Americans; because of the wealth of information that is important to educational and professional growth greater than MySpace (myspace.com) and Facebook (facebook.com) social networking sites. African Americans need to become aware of the potential to expand their knowledge base locally and globally in areas of politics, economics, business, medicine, education and cultural diversity. Many African Americans unfortunately have a ”head in the sand” mentality when it comes to technology usage and application in business and in some cases education and medicine. Blogging allows the participants to be co-creators in this age of digital media that is transforming social interaction, taking social networking to new levels of cognitive growth not just empirical information that is irrelevant and in some cases professionally and socially detrimental. Is blogging going to be another technology that passes African Americans by, therefore leading people to be ignored, ignorant (to it’s applications) and disconnected from using a protocol (digital tool) for cultural, business and professional enrichment? African Americans should continue to embrace new media and new technologies especially in the digital world were the access to information can mean “the difference in a promotion and upward mobility in business or being stagnant and living in a dark closet digitally disconnected” (Gladzena Young, PHH).
Blogging is a new wave for cyber-publishing for African Americans to share their stories, ideas, passions, and in some cases rants and raves. This media is not about complaining about perceived or experienced injustices, although in the case of the Jena 6 it was an effective tool for the distribution of information, and an opportunity to share cultural, historic and enriching perspectives on the African American plightin American and the judicial system. Textual manipulation is not the only option, but blogging can be spiced up with photos and video that is more personal and interactive. The opportunities are endless as to what a writer can do, what they can share and how they can engage discussions. Blogging instills creativity, empowerment and critical thinking skills into our people that allows for their talent in writing. The very nature of the Internet is allowing people to not just retrieve information, but post information that may compete with resources of traditional newspapers and magazines at a fraction of their cost of publication.
The capability for African Americans to launch their own newspaper, magazine, radio and even television shows at a very low cost is within the grasps of a person with a computer that can support this technology. If the mind-set does not change for many, African Americans will once again be left out, disconnected and have a limited impact to social, business and political issues. Our voices will once again be like distant rumblings of thunder that most people disregard as insignificant and a distraction…
We as a people must embrace technology and all thatit has to offer, all the possibilities of imagination, self-empowerment,and cultural enhancement. Blogging is just a tip of the digital iceberg. The Internet, Podcasting, Wikis, Chatting along with Blogging areall interactive and self directed tools that avail themselves tocognitive growth and connection to multicultural awareness that is being embraced and welcomed to all our communities. Technology is about communication between peoples. Let us start communicating and engaging creativeskills in our writing to inform and empower, go forth and Blog…
"Copyright William Jackson, All Rights Reserved 2008."