The Digital Divide

digital_divide

We live in a world where technology determines how we live, learn and earn.” (Daniel, B.  2016)

Technology has improved and enhanced our society. The information age has brought about major transitions in the development of our society; socially, economically, culturally and technologically. It has brought about new ways to learn, to communicate, to do business. It has changed the way we socialise. At the touch of a button we are connected immediately with anyone anywhere. Technology has also brought about a digital divide in society.

I use the internet every day. I am lucky enough to have access to both a smartphone and a laptop. I use the internet to learn, to communicate, to entertain myself, and to do business. I have access to wifi at home, in college, and I can afford a data plan on my phone. Did I mention that I was lucky?

I have gained loads in my life because of easy and quick access to the internet using my technological ‘tools’. By ‘tools’ I mean my phone and my laptop. People don’t see these as tools as they just think of them as everyday things that everybody has and uses throughout the day. But they are not as common as you think.

There are still millions of people in the world today who have not gained from the internet or from having these ‘tools’ everyday. According to Brigitte Daniel, these people are the underserved. By underserved Daniel means: “people who lack adequate access to resources.”

When it comes to the digital divide, we don’t just talk about the underprivileged people in our society. Yes, if they don’t have access to a computer or the internet they are indeed underserved. But I want to also include people who may have been born into the generation before the internet existed, people who live in an area where internet connection is slow or non existent, the people who can afford the laptop but can’t afford the bundle package their internet is being offered to them in, etc.

“It comes down to the people who ‘have’ and the people you ‘have not’.” (Daniel, B. 2016)

Some people make the decision to not be on social media and some people would like to be but they don’t have the resources to be on it and taking part everyday. Even though it is nobody’s fault entirely, those who don’t have access to this online world with their friends can and will begin to feel left out or left behind.

I am not even old yet and there are things on social media that I don’t even understand- how trends take off, different shortcuts for different platforms, etc. As I said, I am lucky enough that I do have access to a smartphone, a laptop, and have a good internet connection in my home, however my knowledge of the internet sometimes leaves even me feeling like I have so much more to learn. And I do.

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