Truth is the beginning of every good thing, both in heaven and on earth; and he who would be blessed and happy should be from the first a partaker of truth, for then he can be trusted. -Plato
Friday, April 2, 2010
Is There Anybody Out There? Latino Digital Natives and Beyond
Are we out there? Are we online? Are we producing content? Are we consuming content? Are we influenced by the content that exists online? What about the digital divide?
These are some of the questions that folks in the private, non-profit and government sector have been asking themselves about the Latino community. Over the next few days and weeks, I hope to provide some answers.
Let me start with this.
#1- Hispanics are not a monolithic community.
Just like we are not monolithic in our defining of ourselves, i.e., some of us call ourselves Latinos, others Hispanos, Chicanos, Mexicanos, Tejanos, Boricuas, Chapinos (you get the point). So too we are a diverse community online with different levels of proficiency and acculturation. We too have digital natives in our midst and phenomenal technologists that have been paving the way in the world of technology since the nineties, before social media was social media and before the term Web 2.0 was ever imagined let alone coined.
It is important for anyone interested in the aforementioned questions to take stock of the current state of reality and not just dismiss the Latino community online, based on the belief that there is this digital divide that keeps all Latinos out of the technology game.
Let me be clear. The digital divide exists and it is still affecting the Latino community in a devastating way. However, that should not be collapsed with the understanding that the divide is present for all Hispanics. For as my coming blog posts will show, there are many of us in fact thriving and innovating online inspired by the possibilities created in this new digital world.