A couple of months ago casually said on a Labour Party politician’s page on Facebook that I think it would be a good idea to invite people to tweet during one’s speech at a conference to get live interactive feedback from the audience.
An A2P ensued (Analysis to Paralysis) where the merits of this were debated to its death. One of the things said were “not everyone can afford Internet phones” and “some people may not know how to tweet”.
I tried it at a conference of mainly middle class people the other day, and no one tweeted, but at events open to all, like shows at the former Cardiff International Arena, it is quite common and popular – it would be nice to know the demographics of these Twitter users.
Who are these people who can’t afford Internet phones? They are not the people on low incomes like myself, nor are they the people on benefits who aspire to be rich and imitate the rich at every opportunity (called ‘chavs’). My backronym for chavs might become ‘Cashless, Hopeful and Always Visually Successful’ to describe anyone who to others looks like they have more money than they actually do. I might fit such a definition – for now! It could even apply to middle class families whose children have the latest gadgets, but who do not have enough surplus income to do everything they want to do.
Merthyr Tydfil is known as the ‘Chav capital of Wales’, and is it these people who are keeping Pontypridd which is a couple of train stops away from dying a death, as it provides the goods these chavs want at an affordable price.
These people are most likely to benefit from innovations like I suggested, and it is only snobbish champagne socialists like members of the Fabiens who are holding them back. These typically middle class people think people on benefits can’t afford things like mobile phones, when in fact they are more likely to own them than more conservative techno-phobic middle classes who don’t need them as much.
The digital divide has therefore changed. It is no longer than ‘the poor’ can’t afford the latest technology, as thanks to New Labour’s anti-poverty policies they at present have more surplus cash. They are in fact being held back by an snobbish intellectual elite who rely on maintain the working class to maintain their collective memory of superiority and philanthropy.
The Fabien members of the Labour Party are one such group, who hold meetings to pity the working class while at the same time talking up their important role and wanting to maintain them for their own sense of importance.
The digital divide is no longer between the haves and have-nots, it is between the know-hows and the don’t-know-hows. And it is the working class that are more willing to take risk to know-how than the more conservative classes who don’t need to. So for every new use of technology a champagne socialist denies being created because it might disadvantage the poor, they are actually advantaging the more well off, who wouldn’t know how to use it – people like them perhaps?