Paperless poverty

Technology is pushing the world toward a paper­less work environment, and the evidence is growing locally. Direct-deposit checking has been around for quite a while, eliminating for many the need for paper paychecks. Most bills can be reviewed and paid online. Numerous public entities, from school districts to city governments, distribute board agenda and documents in digital form; for many school districts, online enrollment is the preferred way to sign up a child for classes.

Going paperless likely has ecological benefits, and is a personal convenience for many. But it’s an advantage only for those who can afford the technology and have the expertise to use it. It may be the inevitable destination for all of us, but for many it remains an intimidating world.

Change is not only constant, its pace is accelerating rapidly. Can our world avoid a great schism between the technologically rich and poor? —DR