Tanner-Maluchnik

How the Digital Divide Works

by Tanner M. on

The gap of the digital divide inflicts many communication problems such as social class inequality, political regimes control of communication technologies, developing countries need for digital communication, and ethnic barriers sustaining, on a global scale.

Knowledge is power. Knowledge stems from communication. Those without the communication technology tools have limited access to this power and influence.

The Digital Divide will be another problem that Gen Y will brainstorm on how to provide solutions.

Go here if you want the indepth detail of the Digital Divide:

The Digital Divide (.pdf)
The Digital Divide is a worldwide problem that excludes certain groups of people from the beneficial use of the information communication systems. In this report, I look at how ethnic barriers, social classes, government regimes, and developing countries affect the Digital Divide. I also take a look on possible solutons to combat the gap of the Digital Divide.

The Rich Get Richer, the Poor Get Poorer

As information communication technologies (ICTs) continue to advance, many people are still being left behind. It is important to understand why underdeveloped and developing nations need to be able to access information communication technologies in order to adapt and develop their economies.

The Digital Divide is the term used to describe this problem.

In general, the Digital Divide can be summed up with this old motto: “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”

Think about it:

How the Digital Divide Works

The digital divide essentially plays out in 2 scenarios:

Scenario 1: Positive Impact
if you are reading this information, you are in this scenario. Scenario 1 can be broken down into 4 steps to better how you understand how the Information Communication Technology tools impact you positively:

  1. You’re reading this information right now through the use of information communication technology (Internet access, WordPress, a publishing and content management platform technology, etc..).
  2. You now gain some knowledge. Through this ICT you now have access to this information that I am presenting you.
  3. With this knowledge you can do what you want with it. You essentially gain power and influence.
  4. With this power and influence you can either take action (positive impact) or inaction (neutral impact).
    1. Positive action could be sharing this message with someone who might find value in the message or going as far as taking action to combat the negative effects of the Digital Divide. This results in a positive impact.
    2. Inaction would be scanning through the information and tossing it aside, which tends to happen a lot with the information overload society we live in. Neither positive nor negative impact.

For those mathematically inclined, it could be broken down like this (excuse me if it is not perfect, it’s been a couple years since my last math class):

  • Communication + Communication Technology = Increased Knowledge
  • Increased knowledge = Increased Power + Influence = Positive impact on society

Scenario 2: Negative Impact
those impacted negatively by the digital divide have a different scenario:

  1. This person lacks access to ICTs.
  2. Communication is limited to those around them.
  3. Knowledge is limited. Limited knowledge equals less power and influence to take positive action.
  4. Results in a negative impact.

Mathematically speaking:

  • Communication – Communication technology = Decreased knowledge
  • Decreased knowledge = less power + influence = Negative impact on society

Problems of the Digital Divide

A few years back during my early days of highly expensive and corrupt education (after being in two different universities and 4 and ½ years of formal education, I believe I have some credibility in that statement), I was given a research paper project. You probably know how it goes; a professor assigns you a paper and makes you use the library to research and report on a topic (usually pertaining to the class).

Since the class was on communication and in conjunction my passion for technology, I decided to combine the two and take a look at the Digital Divide. Below (see Final Thoughts), I have attached a PDF of the report for you to get a grasp on understanding some of the problems of the Digital Divide, which are:

  • Cementing Social Class Structures
  • Political Regimes Controlling Communication Technology
  • Developing Countries Lack of Access to ICTs
  • Increased Ethnic Barrier
  • Mobile Technology

Solutions of the Digital Divide

I also talk about some ways in which we can combat the Digital Divide:

Final Thoughts

Though this “white paper” goes back a few years to my earlier days of university, when I actually remembered some of the best ways to effectively communicate (link back to communication post) and write a research paper (thanks Mrs. Kaminsky, 11th grade English class, RHS), the message still remains the same:

People are getting left behind in the digital age. Those with information communication technologies will continue to develop and get ahead while those without access will continue to be underdeveloped economies.

Later on, I will cover more about the Digital Divide and some more modern problems, solutions, and examples of the Digital Divide.

I will also cover how most of us live in a society of information overload and how it relates to the digital divide, a term I call Digital Overload.

The Digital Divide (.pdf)
The Digital Divide is a worldwide problem that excludes certain groups of people from the beneficial use of the information communication systems. In this report, I look at how ethnic barriers, social classes, government regimes, and developing countries affect the Digital Divide. I also take a look on possible solutons to combat the gap of the Digital Divide.

Tanner,
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  • Purushothamanphd

    Really this mathematically speaking word impressed me a lot. So I am going to use that concept in my life and the problem of the digital divide has to be eliminate or alleviate. By cooperation only we shall do it.

  • Purushothamanphd

    Really this mathematically speaking word impressed me a lot. So I am going to use that concept in my life and the problem of the digital divide has to be eliminate or alleviate. By cooperation only we shall do it.

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