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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The Internet: Making the World Smaller

In this week’s “Introduction to Digital Communications” class, we discussed how we define the Internet. We broke off into five groups – I was with Brenna and Jenny. My group came up with the definition below.

Internet: A global environment that connects people, enables communication, and fosters the sharing of information instantly from any location on a wide variety of devices.

While we were thinking of ways to come up with this definition, Jenny noted that the “Internet makes the world smaller.” I thought this was a very interesting thought; it is so true. Almost everyone in the world is connected to the Internet; thus, making it easier to spread global news stories, communicate with others, etc. I think it truly does make the world smaller because we share more with all Internet users than we would if we didn’t have Internet at all. Websites have even “died” – such as myspace, askjeeves.com, and BabelFish – because the Internet keeps evolving. We all become globally connected and learn more about each other this way – whether it’s a person, country, industry, etc. – it connects us deeper than ever before.

Internet gives us everything quickly. We are able to find answers to questions, connect with others more through social media, shop online with just “1-click,” and much more. The Internet has changed our lives indefinitely, and it makes you wonder what life would be like now if we never had it.

My ABC11 Eyewitness News experience

I had the opportunity to shadow ABC11 Eyewitness News Reporter, Nicole Carr, for the day. I met Nicole back in April 2015 when Fort Bragg Federal Credit Union hosted its first ever Scavenger Hunt. My boss and I put the Scavenger Hunt together and got over 1300 new followers on social media from its popularity. You can read more about the Scavenger Hunt and the interview we had with Nicole by clicking here. Nicole is very outgoing and friendly, so I thought I would take a shot at asking her if I could come in for the day to explore the life of a reporter. I was absolutely elated when she gladly said yes.

I have always been interested in working for a news station or The Weather Channel®. I find the work to be unexpected and fun, which is exactly how it was when I came in that day to shadow Nicole.

We planned on having a calm morning and Nicole was going to show me how the reporters go about their day at the office, but like she said, you never know what your day is going to be like when you get into work. As soon as we got to the office, Nicole got a call that she had to go to the location of a murder investigation right here in Fayetteville. I followed the ABC11 Eyewitness News van to the scene.

Little was known about the murder and what exactly happened when we arrived. The scene was filled with sheriffs, news reporters, photographers, and strangers asking about what happened. The house was blocked off by caution tape and police cars. Residents had to consult the sheriffs before heading into their neighborhood.

As more information was coming in, we found out that a 28-year-old was shot and killed while his girlfriend was tied up. The girlfriend was able to untie herself and call 911. She was lucky to be alive; however, the three masked men who robbed the home and killed her boyfriend are still on the loose.

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A woman who lives close back to the murder location stopped to ask what was going on. She said it is hard to tell if anything bad ever happens there because gun shots are always being fired due to people killing crows or other animals who may “disturb” their land. She also said she was robbed twice since she lived there.

As the day went on I got to experience this sad story come to life, but I also got to witness how news reporting works. Nicole had to search for witnesses and try to gather more for the developing story, but we came up empty. Nicole had to report live at noon at then again at 12:30 p.m. while I was shadowing her. I got to put the receiver in my ear and listen in on the cues and news anchors sharing stories. It was a very cool experience. It was strange to listen to the news that way instead of watching it on TV like I do every morning. It was thrilling! Nicole also showed me how she has to write up a script for each story she is involved in as well as record and edit footage to be packaged for upcoming news segments.

Nicole gave me some great tips on news reporting and I am glad I got to spend the day with her. Although a sad and unfortunate story was occurring, that day showed me that I truly do enjoy the news and love everything about it. You get to travel and meet new people everywhere you go. I think the most important part about being involved with the news is that you learn something new each day. You can never fill your brain with too much information!