Reflecting on Our Digital Differences

Hoping to improve from my last fortnight’s blog post, I was keen to analyse the feedback given to me from the marker and found 3 points to improve on:

  • Use sources to backup ideas in the blog post and comments.
  • Use visual elements in the reflective post.
  • Express new knowledge I have because of discussion.

 

MOOC

I thought the MOOC pages was helpful in providing the basis to understanding what causes Digital Differences both at a macro and micro level, and I thought Luke produced an exemplar graphic to show this. In the comments section of the MOOC 1.11 page, I commented and agreed with Thomas and Chloe on how negative having any Digital Difference seems from a Western/capitalist viewpoint – eg. if a person in a society/culture where the social norm is to not share personal information online, they are seen at a Digital disadvantage, especially as I discussed with Tom (a different one) how someone’s offline social context influences how they act online.

 

Location and Internet Speeds

One macro factor that affects Digital Differences that I had thought about is location and how this is directly linked to the economic status of a region, as ‘we are social’ (2017) reports. I produced a further graphic to show this, because I hadn’t realised how important location was and didn’t include it in my blog post, before Shreya’s comment.

 

Fig 1. Using graphics from different sources, I created a comparison between countries’ level of poverty and internet access, showing a striking correlation. (Top Image: https://data.worldbank.org/products/wdi-maps Bottom Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_Internet_users#/media/File:InternetPenetrationWorldMap.svg)

 

After further investigation, it became apparent that location was a micro factor too, as a crowd sourcing project by ThinkBroadband shows vast differences in internet speeds just around Southampton.

 

Fig 2. A screenshot from http://maps.thinkbroadband.com/#!lat=50.91814786081004&lng=-1.3962014844855686&zoom=14&type=terrain&exchanges&speed-cluster showing a vast difference in internet speeds across Southampton.

Differences in internet speeds mean people can do different things. For example, Cho et al. (2003) found people with higher internet speeds streamed online TV and music more often and faster internet leads to higher digital residency such as socialising or information gathering (Kwak et al., 2004) compared to people with slow speeds.

 

(Words: 310)

My comment on Luke’s blog post.

My comment on Tom’s blog post.

 

References

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