Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

I just returned from Appalachia, in a small town just outside of Cincinnati. I spent the better part of my life there, the formative years from five until I was 22, and left for greener pastures down in Austin, Texas.

I get back home several times a year to see my friends and family, but it’s difficult to do – especially with my job – for 2 reasons: 1) I don’t know anyone with high-speed access (and only a handful with dial-up access), and there are decidedly few wireless hubs near my home; and 2) cell phone access there is spotty at best, which is troubling since I have no reliable way to access my email.

So that’s on my mind this morning, and apparently, I’m not alone. The BBC has a piece on the growing digital divide between the technologically savvy and those who aren’t (particularly the poor and the old).

I’ve spent the last 7 years writing about technology, and working in new media, primarily on the three coasts (California, Texas, and Massachusetts) – and in each stop, I’ve tried, unconvincingly I believe, to explain to those who are used to the massive infusion of technology in their lives that for a majority of this country (Appalachia has 22 million people for instance), emerging technologies hold little sway.

And, it’s not that I believe technology advancements are bad. Indeed, I feel exactly the opposite. I love technology. I embrace it. I’m an early adopter. However, I don’t believe that the technorati have a good understanding of the way of life in the heartland of the country. That disconnect, I fear, is creating a polarized society (speaking only in terms of science/technology) where the general population is largely left behind.

This isn’t a knock against them (and I feel a kinship with the technorati). Simply an observation.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me