Digital Divide- The Pros and Cons
Technology has been crucial in achieving the sedentary life that every being wish to have. Information and communication technology explicitly depicts how the integration of technology in daily life has quickly cheapened life in totality. ICT has transformed the world into a global village whereby everyone easily accesses information from virtually every sphere of the world in a very short while. Besides, ICT is critical in propelling development in various countries among other enormous impacts. The variation in access and use of digital utilities with regards to demography, socio-economic status, literacy levels, and legal privileges define digital divide.
Digital divide not only compasses opportunities to access or use of ICTs but also include the ability and knowledge of using this crucial services in the contemporary society. The gap between those who can access ICT services and those who can’t is witnessed everywhere even within the same organization, and this impacts massively on the development of an entity. Gender, race, income, and locality are some of the factors that split the society into the information rich and the poorly informed conglomerations. According to Couldry’s publication in the Ukessays, the digital divide is a complex topic that can manifest domestically or internationally and adversely impact on the industrialization and development of a nation as well as productivity of a country.
Effects of the digital divide
The digital divide has contributed to differences in development levels among states. The access to information in the developed world is much better as compared to the case in the underdeveloped world. Most people living in developed countries have access to modern technology, high-speed connections to the internet and solid data plans as well as the availability of more advanced and sophisticated devices. Contrary, many people living in third world countries lack such privileges sometimes even access to the internet is a problem. This parity has created an economic divide globally since information is critical in facilitating productivity. It is therefore of supreme importance that governments in developing countries bridge this gap to ensure that they compete on level ground with the developed countries.
So far ICT has developed and spread considerably in many countries, and everyone has a clue of its impact on the daily life. An assessment of digital divide situation shows that this concept emerges decades ago and has been useful and at the same time a derailment to various businesses. This article elaborates on some of the advantages and disadvantages of the digital divide; this is vital in determining the future of the digital divide and E-readiness assessment.
Pros of the digital divide
The digital divide is often viewed as a selfish act enhanced by the capitalist to deny a given section of the society access to power that comes with information. Critics advocates for speedy bridging the digital gap, however, a sober look at the whole concept exhibit significant advantages.
Lack of ICT access due to affordability, lack of knowledge on how to use technology and lack of exposure on the importance of internet are the significant precipitant of the issues of digital divide globally. SMEs are now exploiting this opportunity to reap the benefits associated with superior access to information and technology.
Increased profitability among businesses having unrestricted access
Organizations boasting of enhanced access to ICT services can take advantage of the competitive edge that comes with the benefits of ICT to outdo rival entities and thrive in their varied field. With the presence of the digital divide, the rich get richer while the poor stagnate or deteriorate in the quagmire of poverty. Technology is critical in industrialization processes, and this is vividly witnessed by the disparity in development levels between developed and underdeveloped nations. Business ventures that invest in modern technology improve productivity and revenue turn-over.
Digital divide help converse culture and keep the societal fabric intact
Inasmuch as the internet promise to handle most of the daily life problems and offer a better form of living, numerous disadvantages come with unrestricted access to the internet. Some of the content in the website may not be suitable for given groups of people thus withholding access is essential in maintaining virtues of a conservative society. Besides, the digital divide benefits the lower socio-economic class persons as they can prioritize on focusing their limited resources on more pressing issues.
Digital divide phenomenon offers increased opportunities
Opportunities for personal, educational and occupational advancement to the privileged members of the society.
Cons of the digital divide
It is an expensive affair
Governments and non-profit making organizations attempt to bridge the gap between those who can reach ICT services and those who lack it; this has proven to be very expensive due to the dynamic nature of technology making purchasing the latest devices to be very costly. New advancements render some of the initially acquired equipment obsolete and thus further escalates the costs.
Digital divide widen the segregation between people
The rift between the poor and the wealthy extend further when they feed news and information from different quarters. As the rich advance in understanding and literacy, the poor keep diminishing thus widening the disparity. Ideologies will differ and having a common understanding will be a huge mountain to climb thus predisposing to conflicts and misunderstanding. The have-nots will feel inferior.
Digital divide impacts negatively on the economy
Enormous difference in digital services among people create economic divide as well as social divide, this limits interaction between the two groups. Also, the digital divide can be attributed to a rise in crime level because the people lacking such services will engage in unscrupulous activities to acquire the latest technology.
The digital divide is a worldwide issue, about 70% of the global population fall on the downside; a situation referred to as Digital Abyss. It is not just related to the gap between people with and without access internet; computer specifications are also integral. Is the digital gap widening or narrowing? Calculated moves some successful other counter-active are initiated every day to bridge this gap and success depends on the receptive nature of recipients and goodwill from the advanced sect.