Bonjourno mes amis! It must be Wednesday since I’m making another post, oh the weeks go by so fast!
This week’s lecture discussed the topic of the digital divide. By definition, we know that the digital divide is the theory that shows the inequality of individuals whose knowledge, access, and use of information and communication technologies, or ICTs. However, the articles by Faye Ginsburg and Mark Warschauer ask their readers to view the digital divide in a different light.
In his article, Warschauer argues that we must “redefine the digital divide,” (2002, par. 20). Similarly, I am viewing the concept of “the digital divide” in a different perspective, by examining the divide between PC and Mac. Furthermore, I will examine the binary relationship between these two brands of computers, and how they too can reflect inequality.
Let me begin by discussing my new definition for “the digital divide.” The digital divide, in this sense, is used to describe the so-called divide between “PC” users and “MAC” users. This division already shows a binary relationship between the two products: there are certain people who are “Pro Mac” and those who are “Pro PC” (doesn’t it sound like we should be debating something more serious, like PRO CHOICE?!)
Anyways, getting back on track. I don’t know who all remembers it, but Apple launched a
campaign, “Get A Mac” to try and convert PC users into Mac users, or those that were too scared or unmotivated to try a new system. For those who don’t remember, they used Justin Long as “the Mac,” and John Hodgman was “the PC.” Throughout the many commercials, PC and Microsoft (as well as their users) are inferior, subservient and subordinate to Apple and Macbook’s. There are a variety of commercials to choose from, but here’s an example:
As this commercial demonstrates, Windows and PC is seen as “less-awesome” to Mac, less-friendly (referring to the #1 in customer service point), and overall just a shittier system, to be blunt.
However, what I find interesting is WHY is there such a large divide between “Mac” users and “PC” users, are they truly any different? What other factors are we not including when discussing the digital divide between Mac and PC? Furthermore, are Mac users “digital natives” while PC users are “digital immigrants” failing to keep up with the current trends?
When looking at the physical design of the computers there are recognizable differences, listed in this article such as design, functions, and uses. However, what we haven’t looked at is the requirements in order to obtain a Macbook computer. When we analyze further, we will see a digital divide that also includes different forms of inequality. For one, the price for a typical Mac is going to be around the $1000 range, and that’s without adding any extra components, parts, pieces, etc. Comparably, you can find PC’s, looking specifically at laptops, for around the $200-$300 range (yes I understand that this price also includes just the basic, just trying to make a point.) This one specific example demonstrates inequality in the simplest form: if you do not have the social status and money for a Macbook, you won’t get one, period. This then creates an even greater divide between Mac and PC users based on economic status.
Continuing on this point on the digital divide between Mac and PC users, I must now address the second part of this blog. If Mac is seen as the new legitimate system, would Mac users be considered “digital natives” and PC users as “digital immigrants?” I will further explore this topic. If digital natives are people who are so ingrained with technology that it apart of their everyday life (sounds to me like the domestication approach” by Baym), then those who must learn and “get with” the times are those who would be considered “digital immigrants.” In recent years, Macbooks have acquired popularity, some considering it more important and relevant technology to this generation. Then it can be suggested that PC’s and PC users are “out-of-date” and must learn the new system (Mac/Apple). Some would argue you must learn a “new language,” such as learning the shortcuts for copy, pasting, etc., through support videos. These individuals could be seen as “digital immigrants” in that they are not in the “know-how” of the Mac system.
However, I found this picture that shows quite the opposite position of my above statement. It states that PC users are the “digital natives” because they know the language, the uses, the purposes, and can redesign their own computers, while Mac users are previous PC users who “gave up” on using the “better” computer system.
So readers, who are you? Are you the digital native? Are you the digital immigrant? Are you the PC user? The Mac user? To me, it doesn’t really matter. To you, it may, and I’m fine with that. However, what is important to note is that the concept of the digital divide and the inequality that comes with it are important to recognize. Looking at my specific digital divide between Mac vs. PC, is TRIVIAL to the true digital divide that is taking place in our own global community.
Here’s a video with all the Mac vs. PC commercials if you have nothing better to do or would like something funny to watch. Until next time my friends 🙂
and now im bored so enjoy some more MAC VS. PC PICS 🙂 (sorry guys they may be biased due to my Macbook love <3)