Last night I was in Mariposa, in the Yosemite foothills, and stopped into a burger joint. It was a typical family-run place, with $5 meals and the kind of welcoming, friendly atmosphere mixed with slight distrust that you only get in small-town America. There was a big TV in one corner showing the game, and overweight people in trucker hats drank cheap beer as they tucked into their fries.
And then I noticed it: they had laptops and were checking their email at the same time. The burger joint had wifi and they were all online.
This gets me every time – I remember clearly when the Internet was the pastime of nerds and academics. In fact, I could swear that was last week, but now it seems a lot like everyone’s online.
But they aren’t. In fact, 50% of the population is still largely offline (and that first 50% are probably not au fait with the technology they have). There’s a long way to go, and in determining any technology-related solution, we have to think about the have-nots – the people who don’t, and likely never will, own a computer or have connectivity.
I think a lot about this, and will post more later this week …