And, on a Personal Note, Another Digital Divide…


Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of evidence of a huge split between those who sit at the computer for work and those who don’t. For someone born in the 1950’s I consider myself pretty well connected. I have high-speed fiber optic at home, download tunes from iTunes and can do a lot more with my Blackberry than most business executives. My partner at home is a primary-care doctor who spends most of every workday seeing patients, going from one examination room to another.

When he comes back from work, he can’t wait to get on the computer. He logs into Facebook, goes through his email and checks his eBay listings. Before bed, he’ll usually do another round. And in the morning, it’s not much different, laptop out on the dining table while we’re having breakfast. I spend my entire day staring at the computer screen, my fingers on the keyboard, even multitasking through my conference calls.

While I’m waiting for everyone to get on the line, I can usually complete a week’s worth of online banking. It’s rare that an email sits in my Inbox for more than a few minutes without at least a glance at the subject line. So that’s why when I get home from the office, the last thing I feel like doing is getting my palm on the mouse and fingers on the keyboard. At that point, I’m ready to have someone else read me the news and show me video.

And the morning’s are no different—yes I’m proud to be one of the remaining home delivery subscribers to The New York Times—and while I’ll admit, the laptop takes up a lot less space on the dining room table, I enjoy reading the newspaper the old-fashioned way. I’ll be spending the next nine or ten hours in front of the computer screen. So, I’m very happy to wait an hour to get started.