Just a couple of weeks ago I was in San Antonio visiting my sister and mother. During the visit, I asked my sister if she had seen the recent videos and pictures of my children that I had posted. She said no. I said ok. Let me show them to you. So, off we went into her bedroom to use the computer. When I attempted to navigate to the site (http://www.myfamily.com) that I use to store and distribute all information regarding the events and activities of my family to my broader family and friends it took forever. I quickly became frustrated. I asked my sister, “Is this what you go through each time you use your computer?” “Yes”, she said. I asked what is this a dial-up connection? Again she replied, “Yes”. I almost passed out. Listen people. No more dial-up!!! Repeat after me. NO MORE DIAL-UP.
When I asked her why she was using dial-up she told me she could not afford a DSL connection. I said how is that when a DSL connection is only about $14.00 a month? Just to be sure I did a quick search to find a few DLS prices. Sure enough, ATT offers Basic DSL for $19.95. I asked my sister could you afford $19.95 a month. She said “No I can’t.” “Ok”, I said. Here is what you do. You simply must have the fastest Internet connection that you can afford. This is no longer an option. This is not a luxury. The access and opportunities you are granted by having a high-speed connection to the Internet are mind boggling, and for many black people to still be living as if DSL is not available borders on insane. Ok, maybe that is too strong. But I am trying to make a point.
I told my sister. You are paying for something right now that you are probably paying more than $19.95 per month that does not afford you the same value that a fast DSL connection would provide. I suggested that she go through her monthly expenses. I am quite sure that she will find some expense that she is paying for that can probably be done for free using the web and her computer with a high speed Internet. One easy example would be mailing your bills. Stop paying for stamps, envelopes, etc to pay bills. Stop paying for a subscription to your newspaper that you can read online. Stop paying for software to run on your computer such as word that you can use on the web via Google for free.
We found several examples of monthly expenses that could be eliminated and done for free using her computer and a high-speed connection to the Internet. Please stop saying you can’t afford DSL and let’s get on with the business of joining the 21st century. If you feel that you truly can’t afford to pay for DSL, I would suggest you try the exercise described above.
Kai Ajala Dupé