Two sides of digital sword; divide and inequality

Many at the forefront of technology recognise that the last decade has seen the fastest rate of technological advancement ever. The digital divide and digital inequality are significant obstacles that must overcome, through allocation of resources and further research.
Advances in technology

The digital divide focuses primarily on the statistical data regarding how many people have access to Internet technology. Collins dictionary, 2011 defines the digital divide as, “the gap between those people who have Internet access and those who do not.”

At present there is no formal or widely accepted definition for digital inequality, however both issues are completely separate, but they have a push-pull relationship with each other.

With a wider internet take up in society the digital divide reduces, but not eliminating inequality; instead a new kind of inequality will be created (DiMaggio & Hargittai, 2001: From Unequal Access to Differentiated Use: A Literature Review and Agenda for Research on DigitalInequality).

Giving poorer members of society access to the Internet is not just enough.

Training Centre – where ever it’s needed. By one.economy

They will also need the equipment, autonomy, skill, support, and scope of use that is already inherent in developed nations and wealthy communities (DiMaggio et al, 2004: Digital inequality: From unequal access to differentiated use). Without these additional support mechanisms the digital divide will replaced with something much more difficult to combat.

Is your organisation tackling this head on? If so, share your finding on Connecting People and Places, 4.2 of the Social Inclusion Process.

Here’s your chance to contribute before Monday 5th November 2012.

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