Digital Divide Essay, Research Paper
The Digital Divide a Social Issue ?
When we talk about the digital divide its not as clear cut as people think, if 98% of the planets population have failed to be touched by the internet revolution then surly we need to look at more than one way to bridge the gap, the united nations, the group of eight, university departments and community groups across the world are clambering for a piece of the action an example being that in Britain Tony Blair has promised universal access by 2005 and is poring millions of pounds into disadvantaged communities.
But what is the best way of offering universal access, the home computer is the most common but expensive way to get online however rapidly developing technology such as digital and satellite television and pay as you go mobiles means that online access to the internet is becoming easier by the minute, it isn t just cost that is preventing internet access it is also age barriers, disability and cultural differences for example there are more phone lines in a big city such as Tokyo than the whole of Africa.
As Bill gates points out people in third world countries need medicine not computers and Oxfam states that in countries such as Africa half of primary age children are denied the opportunity of a basic education let alone internet access.
It is not just third world countries that are lagging behind when it comes to accessing the internet in the UK only 28% of homes are on line and only 3% of low income homes are connected, in the not to distant past it was assumed that every home would have a p.c. it is clear this is not going to happen as digital technology is constantly changing people are hesitant to spend hard earned money on equipment that can so easily go out of date, are people holding back and waiting for the next big thing.
When people have taken steps to go online they have also become frustrated and disappointed by the jargon and incomprehensible websites that greet them, Within developed countries the bridge or gap between internet users is quite large when a new product emerges it is usually aimed at wealthy people and gradually as prices drop it becomes more affordable as the video did.
A large majority of working class people have digital T.V this is seen to be the way forward in getting more people on line along with mobile phones, most jobs these days require techie or keyboarding skills, all schools have internet access and some communities are using youth clubs and even a police station has converted its custody room into a drop in cyber center for local youngsters.
There will probably always be a digital divide lots of small divides make up the big divide we must first tackle these individual reasons and see progress gradually take place within this country the government is taking some steps towards making improvements but we still have some way to go.