Writing Papers on Cell Phones:

These used to be awesome!

Email first surfaced when I was in college (1990ish) and I remember crossing my fingers for a message from my boyfriend who was living several states away. At the time I was also very excited to talk on the phone on my front porch, a monolithic thirty feet from its cradle in the kitchen. Ours was white and looked much like a walkie talkie.

Now during my rare visits to Facebook I rekindle old friendships, gather photos, and scroll by the painful details of someone’s latest meal. I get it; we all crave connection and validation.

But unveiling your genuine self in an online format is a digital paper trail of risk. You might lose a job opportunity, attract hatred or hurt someone. It’s ironic to me that the most dynamic, expressive and risk-taking cultures that I admire are chronically invalidated and are the same ones that can only reach out digitally via their phones. This “digital divide” is as ubiquitous as the massively slanted distribution of resources that caused it in the first place. So why should I, who formerly chagrined cell phones now have such easy access to the world from my own couch while my students have to write papers using their phones? They can only see a line or two at a time on their small screens and that’s the way we all are if we don’t zoom out to see how big the educational forest fire really is.

To explore further watch “What Does the Digital Divide Mean to You?

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