Imagine your life without a phone, no contact to anyone through texting or calling. Imagine life without the Internet…would you be able to cope with not being able to check your Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat feed? Think about how you would feel in this situation…
The topic, the digital divide highlights the disadvantaged groups within society who are ultimately alienated from any digital media platforms for varying reasons.
As defined by Cinque, ‘…the digital divide is a situation in which some groups in society enjoy an advantage over others not only in the tools that they have access to, but also in education, skills base and knowledge. It occurs not only between nations but within nations as well’ (2015, p. 20). A second definition found wrote, ‘…a disparity between those who have easy access to the computers and the internet and those who do not’ (Chandler and Murray 2011, p. 102). In analysing the above definitions, we know that digital technology, and the internet are the two most important tools for students, and adults to have in there daily lives; as teaching in classrooms, learning, developing key strengths, and modern day job employment criteria, needs to be taught to advance skills and knowledge for the future growth of young adults.
So why does the digital divide occur? The digital divide occurs within global inequalities. Factors such as age, gender, income, and living placement plays a major part of this disadvantaged role. It is also said to be the ‘…knowledge gap between the rich and poor’ (Chandler and Murray 2011, p. 20).
As the internet is not available everywhere, continents and countries like Africa, parts of Asia and Latin America struggle to have any internet access at all due to there low socio economic environments, so how does the digital divide effect those who are alienated by it? Various negative affects occur when people do not have access to digital objects, such as digital equipment like phones, laptops or even the Internet. Children and youths will not have the learning ability advantage, as they are secluded from the modern, digital society.
There are certain ways in which we can prevent the digital divide from happening, and one way is the foundation which funds digital equipment for third world countries.
A foundation, called Close the Gap is an international non-profit organisation that aims to bridge the digital divide by offering high-quality, pre-owned computers donated by European companies to educational, medical and social projects in developing and emerging countries.
Here is a short video on an introduction to Close the Gap…
The video shown, is a great program for young children who are technologically disadvantaged due to there location… It is so important for any young child to be taught modern day technology, as the world is digifying almost everything- no one can be left behind! Please consider looking into this program, it is so important!
Chandler, D., & Munday, R 2011, ‘Dictionary of Media and Communication’, First ed., Oxford University Press.
Cinque, T 2015, “What is the Media, and Is Digital Media ‘New’?” in Communication, Digital Media and Everyday Life, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.