GEN499: General Education Capstone
Joe Momma, PHD
23 OCT 2017
The digital divide is a term used to describe how individuals in certain demographic groups, such as racial minorities, rural communities, and individuals of lower socioeconomic status, are at a disadvantage due to unequal access to the Internet (Eastin). This digital divide exists between the educated and the uneducated, between generational differences, between economic classes, and, globally, between the more and less industrially developed nations. The digital divide can have serious consequences because of it’s ability to segregate a portion of the world’s population.
A study found that eight of ten Internet users looked online for various health-related data. These users where looking to understand medical conditions and treatments, access care providers and learn about insurance. With eight out-of-ten Internet users, or 59% of all U.S. adults, looking online for health information, this activity ranks as the third most popular online pursuit (Begany O, 2014). Many of the advanced countries are home to just 15% of the world’s population, but almost 50% of the world’s total Internet users. The top 20 countries in terms of Internet bandwidth are home to roughly 80% of all Internet users worldwide (Buchi L 2016). There are more Internet users in the US than on the entire African continent, and the divide is getting staggering.
Many investigations of the digital divide argue that Internet access is a valuable asset for users (DiMaggio J., 2001) in finding jobs, social support, or government information. That means those who have access will gain an advantage and continue to outpace those who do not. A study showed differences emerged as central in choices for technology use, including older adults finding both cell phones and Web sites less user-friendly than both middle aged adults and young adults. Specifically, the digital divide in technology “use is found between the oldest adults and the two younger groups”. The older generation didn’t have the internet through their education, so where never taught computer skills. Data suggest that “at least in metropolitan areas, the digital divide between the oldest adults and the rest of the population, rather than between the sexes”.
lower levels of depression, developing programs for technology mentoring in the community is suggested (Buchi, Just, & Latzer, 2016). Once people understand the things they can do with a computer for example, they’ll be more inclined to explore new technology. the millions living in poorer regions of the world, it is unlikely that the wave of technology will hit
Begany, G. (Oct/Nov 2014). Addressing eHealth Literacy and the Digital Divide: Access,Affordability and Awareness. Bulletin of the Association for Information Science & Technology, 41(1): 29-32. Buchi, M., Just, N., & Latzer, M. (2016). Modeling the second-level digital divide: A five-country study of social differences in internet use. New Media & Society Vol 18(11), pp. 2703-2722. Dictionary.com. (2017). Dictionary.com. Retrieved from Digital Divide: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/digital-divide?s=ts Eastin, M., Cicchirillo, V., & Mabry, A. (2015). Extending the digital divide conversation: Examining the knowledge gap through media expectancies. Journal Of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 59(3), pp. 416-437. Ramirez, M. (2014, August 28). What it Really Takes for Schools to Go Digital. Retrieved from Time.com: http://time.com/3104013/digital-classrooms-race-to-the-top-blended-learning/?iid=sr-link4 Van Volkom, M., Stapley, J., & Amaturo, V. (2014). Revisiting the Digital Divide: Generational Differences in Technology Use in Everyday Life. North American Journal of Psychology, vol 16(3), 557-574.
Global social problem, Page 2