Not Everyone Has Internet Access

As anyone who pays attention to the news knows, the mid-Atlantic is in the middle of a heat wave. We have had temperatures around 100 degrees with a heat index around 110-115 for the past few days and four elderly people have died as a result of the heat. The city has opened cooling centers where people without air conditioning, like the four that died. I heard about this on the radio and the instructions said ‘to find the location of the cooling center closest to you, log on to (radio station.com).’

What are the odds that these elderly people had a computer with Internet access? Even if the elderly owned computers at a high rate, what are the odds that the elderly who did not have (probably could not afford) air conditioning spent their money on a computer with Internet access?

This is a common thing for places to do. They tell you to log on to this site or that. What about people who do not have Internet access? In addition to that, sometimes it is down right stupid. The electric company says to check at their website for power the status of power outages. If your power is out, how can you check? If it is on, why would you? When you call Comcast to see why the Internet is out they say “If you are calling to report Internet outage press (what ever number) and then after you press it the voice says “Most items can be checked on line at the Comcast website. I just pushed a button to find out why the Internet is out!!! Hello??

In any event, I think that instructions, such as the one for cooling shelters, should say you can check on locations nearest you by logging on to our website or calling (whatever number).

They should keep in mind that the people they are trying to help probably can not access the information. It would do them well to remember that not everyone has access to the Internet.



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3 Responses to “Not Everyone Has Internet Access”

  1. Wayfarer says:

    Would this be similar to having your teacher say “If you don’t know how to spell a word, you should look it up in the dictionary,” but with far more tragic consequences?

  2. bernie says:

    There are also millions (mostly poor, women and children, blacks and Hispanics, rural Americans) that do not have phone service either so asking them to call xxx-xxxx is just as pointless.

    I’m afraid there is nothing that can be done for these Americans. Without Internet access they are lost souls.

  3. Big Dog says:

    Bernie, are you sure that most of those folks don’t have a cell phone? The poor still buy those.

    I guess if you have none of the above then you probably do not listen to the radio any way.