The New Socialism: Who really benefits?
// Posted by Alexandra on 01/26/2014 (11:02 PM)
In an article The New Socialism in the magazine The Wired, the author describes internet sharing as a form of new socialism. That the way we behave online is reminiscent of this political ideology based on equality. Websites such as Wikipedia, Kiva, Craigslist, and Facebook have cultivated a culture of sharing. Sharing information between friends, families, neighbors, and all citizens. People post, tweet, write, and review online for no personal gain or profit. While this type of behavior sounds very similar to the positive attributes that define the basis of socialism, it holds the potential to obtain the negative qualities as well.
We view the interest as a free and equal medium in which all people can access the information that is a necessity within our current society. But this is not always the case. For those without the means, which currently are quite costly, to access this information suffer from what is known as the digital divide. The digital divide is an economic inequality between groups and people in terms of their ability to access information. In the twentieth century we expect people to be able to answer emails at anytime, look up with answers to any questions, and essentially be plugged in 24 hours a day. While popular and business culture has adapted to technology that is available, not all demographics of the world’s population have. This creates a divide between those who can assess all the information and sharing that we feel should be free. Instead the internet and the culture that has developed around isolates and prevents people who can not afford the means necessary to access it from the financial benefits and opportunities as others.
Imagine what your life would be like without a personal laptop and smart phone. Think about the expectations that our teachers and bosses have for the quality, nature, and time frame that our work is to be completed in. Would you be able to meet those expectations without the use of expensive technology that has become integral in our lives? While the ability to share information freely and equally resembles the foundations of socialism, the means necessary to access the information continues to create economic divisions within the populations of every nation.