Digital Divide: The Global Difference

In this week’s Introduction to Digital Communications class, we discussed the digital divide on global, social and personal levels. The one I found most interesting was the global divide – the difference in technology between industrialized and less industrialized nations. Wealth, language, lack of reading ability/education, etc. are all factors that contribute to the industrialization of a location. The thought of life without Internet made me think of how lucky we are as a nation to have it.

It isn’t only not having the Internet that is crazy to me, but the lack of opportunity in some countries, such as Eritrea. In America, we are able to go to school and get a proper education to prepare us for our future beyond school. In addition, if that isn’t easy for some of us, there are usually plenty of options for us to obtain an education. It is expected of us to get an education.

Now, we have the Internet to give us even more opportunities. We can look for scholarships, apply to college, learn new languages, go to school, etc. – all online! We are SO incredibly lucky to be afforded these possibilities that sometimes we take them for granted. When we think of the global divide and the countries who aren’t offered the same things we are, we have to remember to be grateful for what we have and what we can do with our lives, because there are others out there wishing they could do what we can.

It’s imperative to help others when you can. That’s a big thing I do in life. It’s important to think of how you can make a difference in the world, and to act on it. So, how can we help other countries become industrialized enough to get Internet? I would love to hear your ideas! It would be great to all come together and be able to make someone’s life by giving the gift of the Internet.

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9/11: Never Forget

It has been 14 years since the tragic events of 9/11 happened. Everyone in America knows exactly where they were when they heard the news. For me, I was in 7th grade social studies class when the principal made an announcement over the speaker that all after school activities were canceled. Everyone in our class looked outside and saw beautiful, sunny weather and we didn’t understand why we weren’t allowed to go to our sports practices after school dismissed. Our teacher was very distraught and told us what had occurred. We were just learning of the attacks and we weren’t sure what exactly happened and why. I remember my mom picking me up from school and she was crying. We immediately went home and watched the news. We couldn’t believe all the heartless acts that took place that day.

My mom was in the Air Force and would often have to go to Fort Hamilton (in Brooklyn) several times a year. We would always go with her. We were lucky enough to go to the World Trade Center the year before 9/11. I remember looking out from one of the highest floors with my brother and couldn’t believe the incredible views of New York City. There was also a fun helicopter ride inside that gave you a simulated tour of the Big Apple. There was just so much to see and do in the Center and it made me feel excited to have visited such an amazing place. I then knew I wanted to visit the World Trade Center again, but didn’t know I would never be able to. Shortly after the attacks, my mom deployed overseas for several months. My grandparents and parents are retired military and my husband and brother-in-law are both active-duty military, so I have always had a very strong respect for our service members and for all they do for our country.

In November 2013, Ryan (my now husband) and I took our dogs and went to visit our friends in NYC. Ryan had never really been in the city besides going to Yankees games, so I was thrilled he was finally going to see it. We went to Times Square, Bryant Park, and several other sites. Our favorite, although the hardest to visit, was the 9/11 Memorial. We saw the new World Trade Center and looked at the beautiful memorials that were built in honor of those lost. It was so sad to see all the names, but it is comforting knowing that all of the victims are recognized and will never be forgotten. We hope to see the new World Trade Center and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum when we visit the city this December.

I noticed a nice touch that Fox News did on their programming today. Instead of having breaking news bulletins scrolling across the bottom of the screen, the names of the victims who were lost are being shown. What a touching tribute, Fox News!

Another remarkable tribute was what the weather did for New York City yesterday. Several people captured the shot of a bright, shiny rainbow over the city, touching on the World Trade Center. Below is one of my favorites that I saw posted Instagram by @flowkradd.

A beautiful rainbow shines bright over the World Trade Center the day before the 14th anniversary of 9/11. Photo captured by Tim Rice (Instagram: @flowkradd).

A beautiful rainbow shines bright over the World Trade Center the day before the 14th anniversary of 9/11. Photo captured by Tim Rice (Instagram: @flowkradd).

We will never forget the victims who were lost in the Pentagon, Shanksville, and New York City. We will never forget the heroes who first responded to the tragic sites. We will never forget the service members who fought for our lives. We will never forget 9/11. God Bless America.