Topic 4 discussed the breadth of ethical issues raised in the digital world. It demonstrates that the freedom exerted by the internet can also pose many issues.
I focused upon the digital divide, and the ethical issues associated. As a geographer, the concept of the digital divide is not new to me, however it was interesting to see how the term had evolved, from once being the lack of internet (as learnt in GCSE), to differences in quality of access, and ability to utilise technology (Wiedor, 2012). This difference of definition in so few years demonstrates how quickly technology and access to technology evolves. It evidences that the digital divide is not disappearing but changing, it will remain an issue even when there is universal access to technology, this highlights the importance of the issue.
Tobie’s comment mentioned his digital FOMO when travelling. Previously I had not considered this topic as very relatable to me, however his comment highlighted the issues that I’ve faced from the digital divide. An example was my travelling to China, where Internet access is limited, and even when attainable is restricted due to censorship. This led to further questions of ethics related to internet censorship as it denies access to certain knowledge. Even when I was in China, it was hard to know what was going on back home, with no access to Google, Facebook, YouTube etc. Upon considering this I googled further into the issue and found this article by Brian (2013). This highlights the impediment of freedom of speech due to censorship.
Tom further questioned whether disconnect of technology could benefit groups. This was an interesting concept as there is often criticism of constant use of the internet. This graphic shows the negatives of the internet (Alfredo, 2012). Consideration of these negatives highlights how appropriate use of the internet is needed to reap the positives.
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- Alfredo, K. 2012, Is the Internet Bad for your Health?, [Online], Available: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/internet-health/ [accessed 2016, November 30].
- Wiedor, A. Technology Ethics: The Digital Divide and Education,[Online], Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT7OC_1O5Go[accessed 2016, November 25].
- Yu, B. 2013, Speaking against the Silence: An ethical analysis of Censorship practices within China Today, [Online], Available: http://www.globalethicsnetwork.org/profiles/blogs/speaking-against-the-silence-a-look-inside-the-censorship [accessed 2016, November 30].