Why the Digital Divide Will Continue

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Why the Digital Divide Will Continue

Numerous studies have concluded that there is a "digital divide." Meaning that there is a growing disparity between those that are able to benefit and access computers and the World Wide Web, thus creating an information have and an information have not scenario. These same studies often conclude that it is due to a lack of access to personal computers and the web that this "digital divide" exists. Thus giving way to the argument that if there were someway to provide everyone with access to a personal computer and the web then we can close the digital divide. However, making personal computers and the web more widely available is not the solution to solving the problem of the digital divide. Computers are now cheaper than they have ever been, and there are some Internet service providers who are willing to provide their services free of any monetary cost. It should be noted that people who choose to use these types of services must give up certain privacy rights and be bombarded with advertising from any company the internet service provider chooses, in order to benefit from this "free" access. Even if one doesnÕt want to invest in a personal computer or become a second-class citizen to get Internet access, one doesnÕt have to. Many libraries and lots of other community centers are providing the use of computers and web access for free, and yet the digital divide still exists. LatinoÕs, Blacks, and Americans with disabilities, and also those with low household incomes are still much less likely to use computers or access the web, which would keep them in the category of information have nots.

The reason the digital divide continues to exist in light of the fact that access is widely available is because access is only one barrier to the web. Solving the access issue doesnÕt solve any problems that arise from users of the internet not having the necessary education to use and benefit from the information one may receive from the web, the access issue also doesnÕt address providing more user friendly computer software and web pages for those in our society that have disabilities

Education as a barrier to the web and computers

The World Wide Web is full of information that can improve and enrich our lives. In order to benefit from all of this information it must exhibit some type of relevance to our everyday lives and one must also be able to read and interpret this information so that it is useful to us.
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