what will heavy use of this type of medium do to our community
I work for an ISP... I'm steps away from being a certified MCSE.... I'm online all the time
Computers are a necessity for the most part But the internet is not yet a necessity for the average citizen
I question whether it ever should be.....though if we're not in the position to govern whether it will, I guess we'll have to get with the program.
I think that part of the resistance to computers (in general) and the internet specifically is the fact that they are such a solitary mediums and we are community/group minded people. Most people don't roam the net in groups, its an individual pursuit. That's why its a nest for freaks, geeks, & nerds...that's why even these loners sought out communities - some type of human interaction. Currently, the most popular aspects of the net involve actions cloaked in secrecy (the sex biz), community groups (chat/forums), or delivery of specific services (amazon books).
I disagree with the idea that being wired up is somehow tied in with the intellectual capacity of the enduser. You don't have to be smart to be online - anymore than you have to be smart to drive a car or use a phone. Frankly, a lot of what happens in this medium is silly & frivilous - another type of television, another dumb talk show, another dirty magazine.
From what I see the most important part of the internet is quicker access to some critical information, quicker ways to connect for groups of people to connect. But even these positives can be negatives if not done right. Coming back from a 4 day vacation, I had over 100 emails to sift thru, and out of the relatively handful that were important, I still needed to email back & forth and make a phone call & give verbal confirm. The dot com businesses are in trouble now because too many of them weren't really necessary - it was all smoke & mirrors, same ole business, new clothes to dress it in.
I think Black people aren't online as much because many of us don't feel we need to be ..we can get things done without it. To be honest. so could most people - that's why companies are limiting internet use. Then we have concerns about the government tracking our movements - a fear that's based on a very real foundation. And on top of it, the computer is a tool of a the solitary - it hasn't been developed to a point where it can be a gathering place - like the tv. though that's coming. I think we're more hesistant to adjust ourselves to that solitary mentality required to be a ...and maybe rightly so.