Race and the Digital: Racial Formation and 21st Century Technologies

Food for Thought


I love using Youtube, I watch it on my laptop and also on my mobile device. However, after learning about the digital divide and the inequalities, I began to notice how disproportionate and lack of representation their is on behalf of minorities. When conducting a simple search through the 'trendings' page, there wasn't much. I felt as if there isn't much focus on my culture or the others around the world that deserve to be spotlighted. People of color are greatly underrepresented in Youtube channels. A perfect example is of the beauty channels/ tutorials. The people who create this content are wealthy, white woman who are sponsored into doing these tutorials. It feels unfair not being able to see a brown skinned girl creating tutorials that would fit a big member base of Youtube, according to Data Set D that stated people of color use Youtube more. Seeing how people of color or people ranked economically low don't have as much access to the internet as affluent, white people is disheartening. People are discriminated against because of a system that is working against them. 

The data sets I chose greatly support my stance on the digital divide and it's impact on communities because of the lack of internet access. However, there was some inaccuracy with some of the sets. For example, I touched on Sandvig and his article on Native Americans to explain the digital divide, but in the data sets there was no representation of Native Americans in any of the tables or graphs. As a result, one can see how minorities aren't really taken into consideration or aren't paid attention to if they don't seem relevant to the U.S government. Another thing wrong with the data sets is the fact that they tend to bunch groups together. Hispanic is an umbrella term that squishes anyone who speaks Spanish into a niche. This can be misleading data because in different countries, regions, cultures, internet use can range wildly. I know that in South America where there are plenty of places that lack electricity, internet access is the least of their concerns. Unlike more affluent Spanish speaking countries where internet access is within their grasp.

Taking everything into consideration, this paper/ project was very eye opening in making me realize that their are plenty of inequalities in society, and internet access is just another hurdle minorities must face and fight for as a right. Also, internet usage is somewhat of a private thing, and it is unfair that Native Americans are subjected to surveillance of a luxury they just want to enjoy with the rest of the world.

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