Jen Schradie on the digital divide. Thanks to Cyborgology via the Society Pages.
6. But aren’t people from marginalized communities “leapfrogging” over desktops, laptops and even tablets by using their mobile phones?
As Sociologist Sheila Cotton put it, “Could you type a 10 page paper on your phone?” However smart it might be, newer, smaller, sleeker gadgets, such as the iPad mini, are designed more for consumption, rather than producing and engaging with online content. Certainly, many people are tweeting and posting status updates with their smart phones, but class divisions are stark both domestically and worldwide for smart phone, rather than mobile phone access. And mobile devices are not always “smart.” As I have argued, having online access at a variety of locations (i.e. home and work) and owning a lot of gadgets allows people to control the means of digital production and have the autonomy for high levels of Internet use. One cell phone doesn’t cut it.