But, Jenkins brings up an interesting point that highlights the fact that convergence often excludes many individuals. He states that "not all consumers have access to the skills and resources needed to be full participants in the cultural practices" that he is describing (23). Individuals in war torn countries, regions plagued with poverty, and many others, do not have access to basic human necessities much less sophisticated technology. This discrepancy between individuals' access to technology is known as the "digital divide" and the discrepancy between engaging with technology is called the "participation gap" (23). With technology improving at a rate faster than the average individual can keep up with, how does someone in a 3rd world country compete? Globalization has brought the world together in so many ways in regards to politics, society, and the economy... but has it also torn it apart? Has globalization and the advent of new and exciting technologies only further widened the digital divide and participation gap in today's society?
With campaigns such as "One Laptop per Child", "Toms", and countless other organizations devoted to helping those less fortunate, serious strides are being made to bridge these gaps in society. But with technology improving faster than we can comprehend, more steps need to be taken if we as a society care to close the digital divide and participation gap. So the point remains- who's left out, and how do we let them in?
- Barbara Lin