April 5, 2012
Blacks Blog More Than Whites. But Why?
According to a recent study by UC Berkeley, African-Americans are more likely to blog than their white and Hispanic counterparts, which is anÂ interestingÂ findingÂ since, as we know, the digital divide is still very real, even within our own communities where there is a marked difference along education and socio-economicÂ lines. The study found that in 2008, an average ofÂ 17 percent of blacks were likely to blog, compared to 9 percent of whites.Â Says UC Berkeley doctoral candidate Jen Schradie—the study’s author and a researcher at the campus’s Berkeley Center for New Media: “While blacks are more likely to blog than whites, it doesn’t mean the digital divide is over. People with more income and education are still more likely to blog than those with just a high school education and Internet access.â€
So what are we saying? Could it be that we gravitate to bloggingÂ becauseÂ it presents an opportunity like no other medium has in the past for African-Americans (and all nationalities forÂ thatÂ matter) to express ourselves and let our voices be heard by a “worldwide” audience? Are we anxious to take advantage of a platform that allows us to be opinionated and uncensored? The answers are still to be determined. The study doesn’t (and didn’t try to) to answer the question why. Says Schradie, “Ultimately, the study shows that class inequality is perpetuating the digital divide in social media. Race matters, but not the way we think it does.”