Thursday, November 29, 2007

Online Media - Down With TV?

Today on my social networks I ran across a couple of folks that mentioned that online networking and media has all but replaced TV for them. I'm dropping that on you with no opinion of good or bad. Just to point out that such comments are becoming much more common. But is that really a good representation of the world? Heck, is it a good representation of your city?

What those of us heavily into living our lives attached to the Internet, is that many individuals don't have Internet access. Now some of those individuals don't because they don't have an interest but could afford to get access. Others have no interest but couldn't get access due to cost or location or both. Yet another group has interest but can't afford it or access is not available.

Of those three groups, I'd like to deal with the two groups of have nots, regardless of interest.

Just today, two Utterz I read directly mentioned giving laptops to third world countries. The idea being that we can't 'leave them behind.' Heck, not a bad idea in itself, but not just third world countries are being left behind. Many folks in the US today can't afford access or can't reasonably get access. And even some of those that can use a public installation perhaps have no way to guarantee access or even access to specific things. (Libraries increasingly have blocking software.)

So what are we doing to help those individuals? Are we giving them free laptops and free wifi? Are we sitting up free Internet terminals that have unrestricted access? Or is it really worth it? For those without access, should we even be concerned about it?

Have people like me become part of a sort of upper class of society. And instead of a trickle down economy you'd find with money, we seem to generate only more success and riches for ourselves and others in this upper class. I tweet only for those than can have Twitter, and Utter for only those that can reach Utterz. My Facebook goodness, yet again, not available to the have nots of society.

Perhaps we should institute a mandatory Internet awareness and membership drive. Instead of recruiting soldiers and having a draft, how about we draft everyone into the Internet?! Maybe, just maybe, if everyone in the world is tied up browsing and Uttering, and swapping virtual spit on Facebook, they'll be too busy to shoot each other up, or have turf wars, or sweat religious differences.

Or sadly, I see a darker future, where the seedier side of man finds yet another outlet for it's pathos.

What do you think? Internet for the world = Great stuff? Or are there bigger concerns?

Be brave, give your opinion. Utter, Tweet, email me, blog about it, post it on Facebook, I don't care, but I do urge you to have an opinion.


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