the technological divide and community

Sunday morning I talked with some people about community 2.0 Actually, I was talking about my current adventures in writing here and in developing a whole new set of relationships with people around the world. The average age of the group was 64 and the technological literacy ranged widely. I did my best to speak without jargon about the community that develops digitally. I became acutely aware that if a conversation includes a computer, many people choose to be lost.

Some people long for simpler days. Other people are concerned about how relationships–and people–are spoiled by the sheer volume of interaction that is possible. Still others are intrigued by what I’m oing but are uncertain that it connects to the real world.

But what is the real world?

My son builds relationships that include writing, occasionally talking, sometimes buying, often laughing through his work on Niketalk.

My daughter and her friends learn and plan and laugh and get annoyed through Xanga and myspace.

I can read a post on someone’s blog and feel a rush of compassion or sadness or victory for them.

All of those things are part of the real world…since they involve real people interacting with real feelings and real intellect and real desire to really value each other. It is a new sense of community…or prehaps more accurately, a sense of a new community.

I do fear, however, a divide between the haves and the have-nots, or perhaps more accurately, the cares and the care-nots. We’ve gotta think about how to work in the new culture(s) as well as the old, since all of the people in all of the cultures actually matter.

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One response to “the technological divide and community

  1. There are days I want to throw away the entire internet. It’d be neat to keep a paper blog, to put news out on my front door.

    I think the have-nots are WAY different than the CARE-NOTs, and I can’t address B.

    Have-nots are coming closer and closer to access. Libraries offer free access. Negroponte’s on to something. There will come a time. And until then, the have-nots usually have bigger fish to fry than what ZeFrank is saying.

    IMNNHO. : )

    I like you immensely, Jon. You’re a great soul to know.