Monday, February 21, 2011

The Internet is for Entertainment - Not Information

A new study has reported some startling findings on cell phone usage in America. Although it examines cell phone usage across the nation, it pointed out that African-Americans and Latinos outpace whites in their use of data applications on handheld devices, continuing a trend we first identified in 2009.

Conducted by the Pew foundation, the Pew internet and American Life Project Noted that minority Americans lead the way when it comes to mobile access with almost two-thirds of African-Americans (64%) being wireless internet users. In addition, African Americans are significantly more likely to own a cell phone than white’s counterparts (87% of blacks own a cell phone, compared with 80% of whites). In total,
Findings also indicate that although the internet is a wealth of information, that when compared to whites, researchers have noticed signs of segregation online and display trends that show blacks and Latinos may be using their increased Web access more for entertainment than empowerment. Forty-one percent of blacks use their phones for e-mail, compared with 30 percent of whites. The figures for using social media like Facebook via phone were 36 percent for Latinos, 33 percent for blacks and 19 percent for whites.

Another study conducted by the Nielsen Company using cell phone bills found found that the average African-American uses 1,331 talk minutes a month. The average white person, on the other hand, only goes through 647. The Caucasians aren't making up this difference through texting either, as they text an average of 566 messages a month, to blacks' 780. Moreover African-Americans are slightly more likely than whites to have a cell phone, but not a land line.

Jamaican Musician David Minott is asked millions of African Americans to go without using their cell phones for 24 hours during his “Our Silence Speaks Volumes: the Black Out” campaign. His desire was to get people of color to turn off their cell phones for 24 hours starting on the first day of Black History Month, Feb. 1.

Yep, thats where wer have come. Wonder what Tim Berners-Lee would think now,he first proposed the World Wide Web more than 20 years ago. And just think, I was in college and school when their was no desktop computer, cell phone or even internet. I bet some folks even think it is impossible to live without such. Just think I sued to read books, listen to records and actually remembered telephone numbers.

I agree the enternet is good, but we also loose a lot. No wonder my students can't formulate sentences with correct subject verb agreement or attend to a page for more than 10 seconds. The convience of the internet has dumbed us down, for we mainly use it to be entertained, when in fact we have serious work left to do.

yet it’s now difficult to even imagine ordinary life without it

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