Response Question 1

In an effort to disseminate information to a large, diverse population, I would consider the following options: (a) social media, and (b) print media. Bearing in mind that some individuals may not have internet access, alternate sources in information, such as print newspapers, must be considered. Given the distinct digital divide between gender, age, and cultural identity, certain groups of individuals are statistically more likely to use print media as a primary information source. For example, Eastin, Cicchirillo, and Mabry, (2015) found that Hispanic participants were more likely to use print media than other ethnic groups. Furthermore, with powder grid having failed, individuals may be more inclined to utilize public access internet. Dixon, et al. (2014) indicated a gender divide in the area of public access technology usage, stating that women were less likely to utilize public access technology due to a number of contributing factors, including anxiety and lack of technical knowledge. Therefore, even though some public access internet availability may exist, the ability to utilize this may be compromised across gender lines. Finally, older generations may benefit from print information more than younger generations do. Peral-Peral, Arenas-Gaitán, and Villarejo-Ramos, (2015) report that elderly individuals often feel a great deal of anxiety related to technology usage, and problems with power grids and internet access may intensify this anxiety, making it less likely that they will utilize internet information even if available. The use of print media can help to extend the reach of information to these groups who may not have or utilize internet access.

In addition, for those who do have and utilize internet access, using social media to convey information should have a broad reach. Research indicates that younger individuals, and to an extent, older individuals as well, prefer to use social media to gain access to information and talk to friends (Newitz, 2015; Reality Mine, 2015). Younger individuals are more likely to seek out information through internet access than print sources, and utilize social media to network on multiple levels, including social, recreational, educational, and professional (Fastin, et al., 2015; Newitz, 2015; Reality Mine, 2015). These individuals, being accustomed to extensive use of digital technology, may prefer to seek out digital information even when print information is more readily available. Thus, including social media representation in distribution of information could also extend the reach of said information across more gender, age, and cultural gaps.

References

Dixon, L. J., Correa, T., Straubhaar, J., Covarrubias, L., Graber, D., Spence, J., & Rojas, V. (2014). Gendered space: The digital divide between male and female users in Internet public access sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(4), 991–1009. DOI: 10.1111/jcc4.12088

Eastin, M. S., Cicchirillo, V., & Mabry, A. (2015). Extending the digital divide conversation: Examining the knowledge gap through media expectancies. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 59(3), 416–437. DOI: 10.1080/08838151.2015.1054994

Newitz, A. (2015). Email is the new generation gap. Gizmodo. Retrieved from http://gizmodo.com/email-is-the-new-generation-gap-1743697716

Peral-Peral, B., Arenas-Gaitán, J., & Villarejo-Ramos, Á. (2015). From digital divide to psycho-digital divide: Elders and online social networks. Comunicar, 23(45), 57–64.

Reality Mine (2015). How mobile device use varies across generations. Reality Mine. Retrieved from http://www.realitymine.com/mobile-de

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