Foreign Internet Activity in Foreign Places

Believe it or not the internet still exists in developing countries. I’m sure many of us often forget that. It seems the news only wants us to know all the problems that these countries are facing and not how they are becoming more technologically advanced. And even though the internet is this all powerful creation capable of connecting two people on complete opposite sides of the world we still seem to only use it locally. I am no exception for this though. I spend a lot of time on the internet and often visit sites social networking sites like reddit or imgur where I feel I get to interact with a variety of people from other countries, but even then I really only see people from Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and other mainly white developed countries.

(They even made flag that represents this white developed internet society shown below)

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But anyways when I read this article about how many people all across Africa are using their phones to access the internet and what all they are doing with it I was quite surprised. I mean I knew that technology, the internet, and all that jazz were a part of African culture, but I had no idea to what extent.

First thing that took me by surprise was the numbers of how many people actually own and use a phone. In all of those photos or news articles you see about Africa how often do you see someone using a cell phone? I can’t think of a single time other than the article I just read. I guess to most people how these groups of people are using mobile phones isn’t very interesting news. Many people have this ignorant idea of what Africa is like and this article debunks a lot of that and shows just how developing countries are still in the ever evolving race that is technology.

In America we use the internet for pretty much anything and everything and in Africa it isn’t that much different. Going through that article it talked about how they use the internet from everything from Agriculture to banking. I don’t know about everyone else but I had no idea that they use cell phones like debit or credit cards. That honestly kind of blew me away. So here we have two entirely different places in the world both using internet, and both using it for very similar things, but the execution is still different. America and many African countries have developed online banking but in America where everything is done on computers and in Africa everything is done on cellphones.

I don’t know maybe I’m just not well cultured and no one else was surprised as much as I was about Africa’s proficient use of the internet via cell phones, and everyone else finds this blog idiotic. So my question to you is, how much of Africa’s internet activity did you know about before reading this article, and why do you think that people in developed countries are often ignorant towards this information?

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One Response to Foreign Internet Activity in Foreign Places

  1. I’ve got to say I was not too informed about the quick advances of cell phone usage in Africa until I read the article, too. When we hear online and in the news about African countries, we get informed about the tragedies and lack of living advances. I think it’s because, of course, some of these are more important for international news and that which reaches us in the United States. But that has its downside (as we can see from our reactions of the article). Sadly, it is almost programed in our minds that other countries that aren’t as “developed” as us in the United States are living lesser without technological advances. I’m sure many people think of Africa as grassland where the houses have dirt for floors, no bathrooms, and lions or zebras strolling through town. We are almost neglected to learn of the development and advances in other countries, and to me that is just sad. And I think that is why I take such a liking to this topic.

    From the video we watched in class, it mentioned that for many Africans would rather have all this technology because it is helping them develop further as a country. They might not all live in two-story suburban homes, but they are able to accomplish tasks and errands more conveniently with mobile phones. Not only that, children who are not able to get any schooling (because it is either too far or too expensive) still able to learn. Through MixIt and MoMath, they are able to get some form of education because the service is free and owning a cell phone is cheaper than PCs and maybe some schooling. This is an enlightening advance to me and the fact that, as Americans, we are not able to see this in the news because it either doesn’t relate to our country or isn’t a tragedy doesn’t help our impressions of other countries. I find that we are ignorant about this information because we already have these advances and could not imagine the living conditions that Africans have. We would rather ignore it than be informed about it.

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