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One of Boyd’s main claims is that only having physical access to a computer or high-level technology is not enough to bridge the digital divide we see today in society. The access to technology must be meaningful and how that access is being used plays more of a factor than just being online. Although using technology frequently is a way to improve technological skills, using technology effectively and for a purpose is a more effective way to become digitally literate. This is explained in “Digital Divide: Impact of Access 1,” when author JAN A. G. M. VAN DIJK says, “Van Dijk (2005) used the term deepening divide to emphasize that the problem of digital inequality does not end after physical access has been attained but actually starts when the use of digital media is incorporated into daily life” (Van Dijk 2). It is also talked about in “Digital Divide and Social Media: Connectivity Doesn’t End the Digital Divide, Skills Do” by Danica Radovanovic. She states, “it (digital inequality) doesn’t have to do so much with hardware and internet access as much as with the way those are used” (Radovanovic). Both sources further extend Boyd’s claim that use of the internet must be meaningful in order for it to be used a connection to close to digital literacy gap. They do this by taking Boyd’s claim which is generally about “digital natives” and expanding it to all people. This puts the argument into a broader scope making it seem more urgent now that it affects all people, not just the teenagers who grew up with technology. It also makes the argument more effective by placing the blame for the digital divide on the users of the technology and not the technology itself. By doing this, it creates the impression to the audience that humans created this social gap and now must fix it. These sources both helped expand an already strong claim from Boyd and shows just how big of a problem the digital divide has become.

Boyd makes the claim that being digitally literate is an essential skill in today’s society and must be practiced in order to bridge the digital divide. The term digitally literate means to understand how to use high-level technology effectively in order to gain information and communicate with others. Boyd’s claim is then extended on in an article titled “Learning to Bridge the Digital Divide.” Author Edwyn James believes that digital literacy is immensely important and explains to what extent by saying, “Digital literacy is worthwhile not only for its own sake; it can contribute handsomely to overcoming severe structural weaknesses within society” (James). James’s statement extends on Boyd’s because he makes the problem of digital literacy seem more drastic than she does. Boyd describes the digital literacy as a matter of becoming comfortable using technology for everyday activities while James describes it as affecting the social structure of the world we live in. Structural weaknesses within society are enormous problems and saying that being able to understand technology can solve these is a huge presumption. It takes Boyd’s argument and takes it to the next level. Also in, “Learning to Bridge the Digital Divide,” James writes that “men in mid-life whose work skills are no longer in demand, whose modest educational achievements have left them ill-equipped even to want to become computer literate.” James shows another side to the digital literacy problem and the digital divide issue. The digital literacy problem is primarily focused on the fact that not all people are digitally literate. James explains that people in certain circumstances can’t even imagine trying to become educated in the world of technology. This extends Boyd’s claim by taking her explanation of the digital divide and making it seem like bridging that divide is an incredibly difficult task. James explains to his audience that it’s not just that older people can’t become digitally literate it’s that they don’t even want to try. James expands heavily on Boyd’s claims by making making the problems she talks about seem more urgent and severe. He also goes into deeper thought about how technology affects society. This is all in order to persuade his audience that digital literacy is a necessary skill and must be mastered by everyone in order to close the digital divide.

 

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