The Great Digital Divide

The Digital Divide. Sounds interesting. But what actually is the Digital Divide? And how is it important? The Digital Divide is the uneven distribution of access to the Internet and its service. Now, this may be a term that many people have never heard before, but they have seen what it refers to. It seems almost impossible to imagine life before the Internet was created. But believe or not, some people still live that life - not by choice but due to several factors: age, complexity of use, economic status, geographic location, and in some cases government policies. Let’s discuss examples of each:

Age & Complexity of Use
Because internet usage requires substantially different skills than those needed for other activities (like reading a newspaper or talking on the phone), some older people are not inclined to learn to use the internet. They restrict themselves to activities they understand. This prevents them from taking advantage of recent advances that make life easier with the Internet - e.g. ordering food, traveling, purchasing movie tickets, and so on.

Economic
Some third world countries have no or limited access to the Internet. Even some families in first world countries cannot afford to buy a computer or a smartphone. This results in them not being able to access the Internet. This results in people struggling with basic tasks such as managing your bank account and communicating via email or direct message.

Geographical Location
Many places in the world simply cannot have easy access to broadband internet access due to difficulty in connecting them with the rest of the world. Due to this, people in those places live a life without learning about the Internet. Clearly they miss out on all the advantages that the Internet offers.

Government
It’s no surprise that some countries restrict access to the Internet. E.g., China’s and North Korea’s censorship of unfavorable content is well known.

Some people may choose not to use the Internet, while others do not have the resources to benefit from the Internet. But what can irrevocably be seen is that the Digital Divide exists.

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