Whatdoes “digital divide” mean? “The digital divide is the increasingly gaping void between those who are ‘connected’ […] and those who aren‘t” (Highfield, A: 2008). “According to digital policy expert Sonia Arrison, in the late nineties “the Rev. Jesse Jackson called the digital divide ‘classic apartheid,’ the NAACP’s KweisiMfume dubbed it ‘technological segregation’”[…]” (Joyce, M: 2010)
Basically, “digital divide” meansthatthere are differences in ourworld- social, economical, and technological. Noteveryone has accesstocomputers, Internet, orknowsor has informationabouthowto use themtotheiradvantage.
Isthe digital divide a real problem? “This is a key issue of today’s society, since it also provokes a distinction between those who can access certain information and those who are unable to do so.” (Good, R: 2007) It can beconsideredaninjusticeproblem. Whyshouldnotpeoplebeableto use a computer? Ortoaccessto Internet? Itsopportunitiesmustbeequalforeveryone, althoughthey are not.
Multi-Facedmatter “The digital divide is a problem of multiple dimensions. Kling (1998) sees the divide from (1) a technical aspect referring to availability of the infrastructure, the hardware and the software of ICTs, and (2) the social aspect referring to the skills required to manipulate technical resources. Norris (2001) describes (1) a global divide revealing different capabilities between the industrialized and developing nations; (2) a social divide referring to inequalities within a given population; and (3) a democratic divide allowing for different levels of civic participation by means of ITCs. And Keniston (2003) distinguishes four social divisions: (1) those who are rich and powerful and those who are not; (2) those who speak English and those who do not; (3) those who live in technically well-established regions and those who do not; and (4) those who are technically savvy and those who are not.” (Ryder, M: 2006)
Isthere a solution? Every country in thisWorld has a digital divide withtherest of theplanet, butthere are peopleworkingfor bridge the digital gap. Nevertheless, itmustbecarefullywatched, becausesomegoverments can use “bridging” propaganda fortheirowninterest. “The digital divide must then be fought on at least two battlefields: economy and education.” (Good, R: 2007)
There are peopletryingtohelp “The UN are currently helping eliminating the digital divide in developing countries by promoting international initiatives, and also private institutions are contributing with ideas such as the "One Laptop Per Child" project.” (Robin, G: 2007) “Projects like CLIC (Computers for Low Income Calgarians) operated by the Calgary Drop-In Centre have helped to bridge the gap by giving people free computers.”
“One of the more interesting companies working toward a centralized system is Google.” It has multiple options for their users that help them to work easily and in a more effective way. The digital activism (defined as "the practice of using digital technology for political and social change." [MacManus, R: 2010]) members are widely interest in the digital divide. They study it and its possible solutions, for they can work better for humanity.
Conclusions? “There is no easy answer to this problem of the extremely poor not only being left out of the digital revolution but also being victimized by it. ” (Joyce, M: 2010). Orfornot-extremlypooreither. Practical, able-to-be-done projects, a lot of work and volition are needed. Theproblem of the digital divide, althoughitbegan in the late 1980’s, stillexists and itisnoteasytobefought. Butthat gap can benarroweded, ifnoteliminated, and ifweallcoperate, itwillbe more probable itwillbereduced.
Bibliography http://www.masternewmedia.org/news/2007/01/27/the_digital_divide_issues_and.htmRobinGood. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2008/01/the_digital_divide.html Ashley Highfield. http://www.meta-activism.org/2010/08/the-cruel-depths-of-the-digital-divide/ Mary C. Joyce. http://issues.tigweb.org/digitaldivide
http://carbon.ucdenver.edu/~mryder/dig_div_este.html Martin Ryder. http://www.riverdeep.net/current/2002/01/011402t_divide.jhtml http://blogcritics.org/scitech/article/the-digital-divide-is-there-a/ http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/digital_activism_an_interview_with_mary_joyce.php Richard MacManus