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INFO 331 WK7: Digital Divide, and Ethical Implications of E-Waste

1. In addition to reading your assigned textbook chapters this week, also conduct additional research the topic of the digital divide to learn more. Describe one problem caused by the digital divide and propose one solution to this issue. Discuss at least one article you found online that addresses this problem (include the url to the article).

1. In addition to reading your assigned textbook chapters this week, also conduct additional research the topic of e-waste to learn more about this problem. Explain what you understand about the problem of e-waste and its many causes, and then propose at least one solution for this issue. Discuss at least one article you found online that addresses this problem and/or its solutions (include the url to the article).

The Digital Divide

When it comes to the digital divide, it can become a touchy subject VERY fast. My source below, states the digital divide is referenced to, “the gap between individuals who do and do not have access to technology devices and high-speed internet”. This happens to be an issues I’ve heard a lot about on my local California new networks. The pandemic gave more reason to highlight the issue, as tens of millions of students were forced to have a computer and decent internet connection, while bunkered away at home for the greater part of a year. This issues allowed some students the opportunity to continue education, while others were forced to “figure it out” and in extreme cases, students as young as 6 would be the only person in the house with basic knowledge of computers. The results have been major regression in reading and other fundamental educational goals in most American education systems.

As the human race continues our technological push into the future, many are being left behind. I may be putting my communist hat on, but I believe the only assistance to limiting the gap, is every household being given a computer. Not only that, as there would also need to be free community classes in most areas, to teach people the basics. The third step would obviously need to be universal government contracted Wi-Fi. In America, some are quick to complain about taxpayers footing this bill, but I’ve traveled abroad, and multiple countries have forms of this already. Think of the Starbucks free Wi-Fi, but it’s accessible in most areas. If they can have it in South Korea, it’s possible in South Dakota.


Based on our readings, I understand e-waste, electronic products that are at the end of their working-lives, whether its outdated or just not working. We are producing all products, especially electronics are a truly alarming rate. There are more products hitting the shelves than there are consumers, and in return, more and more are being discarded and replaced. These products contain some reusable parts, but also can contain hazardous materials that keep them from being recyclable.

I am going to put back on my “communist hat” for this “fix” and simply say, we need to limit the amount of companies allowed to produce these items. I believe in free market, but I also believe in being responsible humans and limiting our carbon footprint, here on Earth. In California, we have to limit the amount of companies that are granted a liquor license every year, and its adjusted based on the amount of residents in the area. I believe the same should be said for products that create e-waste, as the overproduction also causes issues to other electronic dependent products like say, CARS. We are currently experiencing issues in the auto manufacturing business, due to a computer chip shortage. I’m sure the precious metals uses in everyday electronics that probably are never going to be purchased, could be used in our auto industry.


Digital Divide


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