VOF Week 3:(Technological shock)
My first encounter with a computer was in 2001 when I enrolled at university for my degree. Talk of technology shock. But like many other students, the computer presented a new task that we had to overcome first before mastering other courses.
In Zimbabwe, like other developing countries, a computer is one of the luxuries that many cannot afford. Getting to know computers so late in life is one of the challenges I face in blogging. There is no computer culture in our lives. There is little knowledge in our lives of how broad life is and how blogging can liberate our minds, open new links and windows that we have never dreamt. In our class of nineteen students at university, only one student could use the computer. This is the trend at most universities in the country. Those who do not go to university may never have a chance to use a computer.
While I was fortunate to have an opportunity to know and use computers, there are a number of challenges to blogging that I face. Currently, my only access to the computer and internet facilities is at work. I only have to go to my blog after doing my office duties. Time is so limited that I hardly have the chance to make correspondences and share ideas with other women. After work and during weekends there is no access, yet this is the best time for me to participate in discussions on Pulse Wire.
Besides the computer, I find it difficult to use the programming language, HTML to alter text and the layout on my blog to give it a personal touch and to capture the eyes of readers to important issues. This is my biggest blow to my participation in citizen journalism.
To overcome these challenges I draft most of my work in my notebook and extend my time at work so that I can use the internet during lunch and after working hours. I also use the internet to learn more about blogging and about HTML. Alternatively, I go to the internet café and quickly go through my blog, posting and responding to correspondences. This of course creates a huge dent on my lean purse but it is worth it.
In the long term I plan to purchase a second hand computer, which may set me back at a cost of USD300, a USB flash drive for USD15 and antivirus for USD10. This will enable me to download documents, write assignments and articles for my blog and then save everything on the flash drive to be posted at a lower cost at the internet café. I will also need to purchase a small digital camera so that I became a well equipped and effective citizen journalist. Once I am equipped and capacitated, I will then be in a position to build the capacities of other children in my community so that they do not suffer the computer shock I experienced at university.