The Digital Divide

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People who use the internet regularly are exposed to a wide variety of subjects, news, and resources which are often taken for granted. People who cannot afford a computer, or internet access, as well as those who do not know why it is valuable, run the risk of being left behind in an age of information. This disparity is the driving force behind underdeveloped nations, under-achieving students, and an under-prepared workforce. The digital divide is one that must be bridged in order to allow the world to move forward on equal footing.
In the textbook Introduction to Digital Literacy, author Mark Bowles states “It is vital to make sure that the world is not divided into a two-class society of “information-haves” and “information-have-nots.” In one important way, the effort to help people become digitally literate will ensure that this will not happen” (Bowles, 2013). Bowles takes the position that digital literacy is key to closing the digital divide. Research presented in the text also indicates that people living in the United States with less than a high school education, households making less than $30,000/per year, those living with disabilities, and senior citizens are all less likely to have the internet in their homes (Bowles, 2013).
The divide as discussed in terms of the United States points out that many jobs in developed nations require computer knowledge. Computers have become rapidly, in historical terms, a vital part of everyday life. “In 1990, 22% of all homes in the United States had a personal computer. This percentage increased to 63% by 2001, and in 2004, nearly 75% of all Americans had Internet access in their homes” (Bowles, 2013). Although this number is high, it indicates that 25% of Americans do not hav...

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...required to use a computer and take the steps required to have access to one. Simply giving everyone on the world a computer and internet will not bridge the divide in those who simply have no interest.

References
Bowles, M. (2013). Introduction to digital literacy. Bridgepoint Education. Retrieved from http://content.ashford.edu/books/AUINF103.13.1/
File, T. (2013, May). Computer and internet use in the united states. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p20-569.pdf
Lensfeld, J. (2011). An econometric analysis of the sociodemographic topology of the digital divide in europe. Information Society, 27(3), 141-157. doi: 10.1080/01972243.2011.566745
Paravil, G. (2005). The digital divide and increasing returns: contradictions of informational capitalism. Information Society, 21(1), 41-51. doi: 10.1080/01972240590895900

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