Here is an assignment I just wrote for my English 300 class. Yes, I currently live in Google, KS. Oddly I hadn't taken the whole thing very seriously until I wrote this paper. Funny how writing an English paper can make you think, even at my age. I think I am going to try to get it published in the school newspaper or maybe the local paper.
The Google Cure
Here on Washburn campus, it seems the internet is all around us. We've got complete Wi-Fi coverage in all the buildings and many of us have 3G wireless internet on our cell phones for when we walk outside. One may be prompted to ask, “So what's the big deal about this Google thing?” As many of you may know, for the month of March we no longer live in Topeka, KS. We now live in Google, KS (Hrenchir, 2010). At least till April Fool's Day. So, then, what is the big deal with this new ultra-high-speed internet service Google may or may not offer in our fair city? Why should any of us care? We've already got all the internet we could want and then some. Well, some of us care because of all the other people in town it could affect. You see, not everyone has access to the internet, especially not at a speed that is actually useful. This disparity has become known as the “Digital Divide.” Bharat Mehra, an assistant professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee who specializes in “the use of information and communication technologies to enable and empower communities to meet their needs and goals” (Mehra, n.d.) defines the “Digital Divide” as “the troubling gap between those who use […] the Internet and those who do not” (Mehra, Merkel, & Bishop, 2004, p. 782). In a report he co-wrote in 2001, Mehra went even further to say, “The digital divide is really a socioeconomic, cultural, and power divide that exists at both local and global levels” (Bishop, Bazzell, Mehra, & Smith, 2001). This troubling gap, as you will see, can have profound effects.