The Impacts of Digital Divide
The digital divide has created a new distinction basis in the society that has critically influenced daily operations and livelihood of persons in globally. The ability to fully access the internet is creating disparity and segregation witnessed in different fields today. Analysis of ICT use among countries depicts enormous variations that will well hold water in other aspects of life considering the pivotal role of the internet in our daily lives. Differences in income and literacy are most significant contributors to the digital divide but explain only part of the ethnic and racial disparities in home and workplace technology access. Effects of the digital divide are immensely felt in the following areas: Education, job opportunities, communication, politics, consumer satisfaction, health Information, community Involvement, government, and emergency information.
The ever-widening gap in the digital divide has significantly undermined industrialization in the developing world creating a notion of dependency and insufficiency. Considering the importance of technology in the development of a country, it is exceptionally essential that developing countries seek on ways of bridging the digital divide. Some of the initiatives to bridging this gap such as the provision of incentives and awareness campaigns have shown a desirable degree of success while others, for instance, funding citizens’ technology experience have proven to be counter-active and sometimes harmful. A candid look at the impacts of the digital divide will guide on the direction and speed of bridging the digital gap. Some of the vivid effects of the digital divide are elaborated below
Impact of the digital divide on education
The internet offers a rich reservoir of information and knowledge. Skills and expertise are well organized and conveyed over the internet making the use of computers to be a ubiquitous activity in the developed world. The access and availability of ICT have been associated with academic success and robust research activities since users can quickly make references. Education is a very dynamic sector and keeping up to date is crucial to success, the presence of internet access will ensure you get the latest trends and revolutionize your research skills. The inadequacy of ICT equipment has made the already weak education system in the developing countries even more ineffective.
Governments are now striving to avail ICT services to schools in an effort to improve the education standards. Installation of computer laboratories, provision of laptops to every student among other strategies have shown remarkable success rates.
Impact of the digital divide on the economy
Ceding of telecommunication services is crucial for economic growth, and there exists a strong linear correlation between the two. Interestingly, socio-economic status is one of the major causes of the digital divide and it also a consequence of the digital divide. Penetration of internet enables people to engage in economically productive activities such as trade without much hassle. They can shop online and compare prices to get the best bargains, participate in online auctions and safely and securely transact online this translates to economic empowerment. For the sect that lacks access to technology, trade is made hectic, and returns get lowered this maintain the economic gap between the developed and the underdeveloped nations extensive. The rich countries get, and the emerging countries cannot compete with them hence remaining to depend on grants and donations.
Integration of ICT affects the success of a business and thus influence the circulation of resources among citizens.
Impact of the digital divide on social
The inclusion of ICT services has been crucial in enhancing social interactions among people. Social websites such as Facebook and Instagram have been useful in facilitating communication and maintaining touch with friend and relatives of close ties. Technology is very influential on the levels of relations among members of society since new social opportunities arise when we include ICT in our relationships. People can now keep in touch with friends or even make new friends even amidst tight schedule courtesy of chat rooms. Besides, internet harbors fertile information about peoples’ culture and religion that are vital in guiding social relations.
Internet access offers person access to a broader range of opportunities thus creating a social divide between those who are enriched and those who are deficient. Such segregation creates a potential for social conflicts in the communities where the wealthy can have computers and access the internet while the poor are barred. Efforts to bridge this gap initiated at a personal level through unacceptable activities such as theft has led to the disruption of harmony in the society.
Impact of the digital divide on the society
The digital divide has contributed significantly to stratification in the community whereby there arises a class of persons with access to the internet and another class unable to use the ICT services either due to affordability issues or literacy levels. Some other factors that contribute to the digital divide in the society include age, race, and ethnicity. The digital divide has led to a rise of new alignments in the community whereby people are classified depending on ability to access internet services this is coupled with associated benefits, and therefore those with limited access to technology continue to lag behind in development matters.
Impact of the digital divide on culture
Technology affects different cultures in varied ways either on the positive or the negative. The integral components culture like relationships, communications, and art have been dramatically evolved by technology. However, it seems like some specific customs and cultural traditions have remained intact. The developed countries experience tremendous changes in their culture as they incorporate new cultures acquired from the internet while the developing countries with people having limited access to the internet have their culture unchanged. Because they do not have access to technology, people in technology-poor nations are left behind. However, in order to narrow the digital divide, people need access to technology.
To eliminate the ICT global divide is essential for the growth of developing countries. The development of information infrastructure is a quick way to economic growth for less developed nations. Inasmuch as digital divide is essential in preserving certain cultures, the downside impacts are overwhelming and speedy efforts towards its reduction if not elimination should be much enhanced