The Digital Divide
As stated in Zenthia Prince’s article “Is Digital Redlining Causing Internet Caste System?”, digital redlining is when marginalized societies are intentionally avoided (because of the systemic oppression of these groups, including the general reality that these families are lower income than the rest, which perpetuates many divides: socially, economically, and now, digitally) when companies try to sell basic needs- such as the internet. As neighborhoods and communities that are redlined are subject to this discrimination on the basis of being less financially wealthy, these communities are also thus more socially and economically oppressed and isolated because they tend to have lesser and/or scarce access to resources, opportunities, and support, which in turn propagates this unbalanced system of inequality within the greater society. The United States as a whole is affected by this divide, because if one part of society is not being educated about technology, the US, in effect, is hindering its progression of becoming more technologically advanced- as people in society are purposefully being left out, greatly because of companies’ economic-profit reasons. Additionally, the US economy is not as powerful as it could be, as more citizens who are technologically literate creates an all-around better, more efficient working class.
I agree with he UN’s argument “that disconnecting individuals from the internet [is] a violation of human rights and international law” (Sakai); this is true because as this era is labelled as a “digital age” (7), it implies that our global society is heavily influenced, shaped and dependent on the progressive technologies being developed. As previously established, taking someone’s access to the internet away, or purposefully limiting it, hinders the global community on the basis that this act promotes the furthering and widening of the already existent divide between individuals who have access to the internet and are sufficiently technologically-literate, and those who do not have access to the internet and are not necessarily technologically-literate, or are completely technologically illiterate. Finally, the internet should be a basic human right, as it is so vital to the progression of our global society, and for our personal development as well. Environmentally, the internet saves many trees with online books, email, blogs, Facebook (instead of hand-written letters), and all else that is in the technological world which can replace hard-copy texts. Also, the internet allows for connecting people worldwide which must boost cultural openness within the general population of persons, and as humans are social beings, it must also promote one of the basic needs of the human being: community.