Recent Posts

Archive

Tags

Digital Communications in the Time of Coronavirus


With social distancing measures in place to battle Covid-19, the world faces new challenges when trying to stay connected digitally. Increased use of social media, messaging apps, video conferencing programs, online entertainment, digital media or news, and internet resources is evident. People rely, more than ever, on digital platforms to shop for groceries and anything beyond daily necessities. Important and daunting questions remain as the world tries to grasp new realities in digital endeavors: Is the digital inequalities or gap widening or reducing? Are digital communications fair and trustworthy? What regulations or cautions should be raised for the digital world to function better or carry us forward?

Examining the scenarios in the U.S. alone, one can easily discern that a digital divide existed before Covid-19 hit. Pew Research shows that 25% of the U.S. population does not have broadband Internet access at home, and almost 20% does not use a smartphone. Other than the economic disparity, digital literacy issues can also be identified between people who use little messaging, voice, and videoconferencing, and those who are technology savvy.

The ubiquity of digital socialization and communications calls for thorough research on regulatory aspects of digital media use, including their ramifications for politics, journalism, public services, entertainment, gaming, e-commerce, education, healthcare, science or medical communication, and other areas. We have witnessed how detrimental it is to undergo an “infodemic” that misinforms the public, causes confusion, harm aspects of human life, and undermines credibility of our democratic systems. We need to educate the public about what sources of digital information to trust or avoid, how to evaluate claims and opinions, and how to stay critical and think from well-rounded and healthy perspectives to understand what is happening around the world. We must raise awareness about digital literacy through policies and mechanisms that come from not only the governments, but digital corporations and technology companies. Collaboration and coordination can create a digital world that portrays life from objective standpoints and delivers possibilities in a fair, just, and efficient fashion.


新型冠状病毒时代的数字通信


随着战斗新型冠状病毒而施行的社交距离措施,世人在尝试保持数字连接和通讯时也面临了新的挑战。社交媒体、信息应用程序、视频会议程序、在线娱乐、数字媒体或新闻以及互联网资源的普遍使用是显而易见的。人们比以往任何时候都更依赖数字平台来购买杂货和日常必需品之外的任何东西。而当世人试图掌握数字化的新现实之时,重要而艰巨的问题仍然存在:各阶层数字不平等或差距是扩大还是缩小了?数字通信公平可信吗?为了让数字世界更好地运作或推动世界的前进,人们应当提出哪些规定或警告信息?

就美国的情况看来,新型冠状病毒爆发之前就存在的数字鸿沟实历历在目。根据PEW研究中心的调查显示,25% 的美国人口在家中并不具备高速互联网接入的设备,近 20% 的美国人不使用智能手机。除了经济差异之外,美国人也呈现使用信息、语音和视频会议之上的差别。换