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my digital divide

15 Jul

i had an interesting exchange with someone this morning regarding why i packed my lunch. i realize it doesn’t sound digital yet, but i’ll get there shortly. i was talking about the lack of lunch choices in the area so i decided to bring my lunch today. someone mentioned that they knew of several places very close by and listed a few. in an attempt at friendly banter i said that we could have used her local knowledge and that is when she gave me something to think about. after finding out that i didn’t ask someone where to eat, rather a few of us used a web tool to bring up places to eat in the area i was accused of being very ‘techie’ but lacking the ability/skill/inclination to talk to someone face to face. here is a good time to say that i don’t believe that this person was being anything but friendly, but i also have to admit that i was taken back by the commentary. i felt like i was being told that i lack fundamental communication skills; that in place of personal interaction i only know how to access something using technology. i have to admit that one of my first thoughts was ‘why would there be a restaurant NOT on google maps’? i love the mom & pop, hole in the wall, insert cliche here, type of place as much as the next person, so perhaps for me its about be self sufficient. i like the idea that i can find information when i need it. i guess i could knock on my neighbor’s door and ask if they have information about something i want to buy, but it doesn’t seem like the best way. in this case, the person was exactly right, the best way to find local information is to ask a local, or someone who works at this school. perhaps it has something to do with my aversion to ‘bothering’ people, and while asking that question doesn’t generally bother someone, for some reason that is how i perceive it…again my failing.
the interaction certainly gave me something to think about. is she right? do i lack face to face interaction skills, have they atrophied as my tech skills have grown? is it simply a preference? it gave me something to think about, and i certainly appreciate the exchange for that.

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