The Theory of Digital Divide
The digital divide describes several scenarios all in which show a difference in the technological advancement between developed and non-developed countries. The digital divide describes the unevenly distributed information and communication technology resources in the world. It also describes the difference between the number of people that own or are in close proximity to a mobile phone or mobile phone technology. The digital divide also describes the difference or the gap between the developed world and the undeveloped world. It can also be used to describe the difference between the people who have access to information and those who do not. The digital divide generally describes the gap created between businesses, geographical areas, households, individuals and other social or political settings that are placed at different socio-economic levels with regard to their use of technologies like the internet for a number of activities and to their access of communication and/ or information technologies.
With reference to the discussion of mobile technology, it is important to include it in the digital divide discussion. For instance, in America, almost ninety percent of the population owns mobile phones. Those who do not own mobile pones make up a rather small percentage of the population. This can be described as the mobile technology digital divide of America. However, this cannot be compared or directly associated to the digital divide in terms of access to the internet. The digital divide on the mobile technology depends on personal decisions and status like income, work status and choice (Meikle 75).
While looking at it in the broader aspect of the global digital divide, it describes the disparities that exist between different parts of the world in terms of their different levels of technological and social development. It would be true to state that, as the internet grows more and more sophisticated, so is the digital divide growing and where it is least available, the society is being left behind. The economies of countries with easier and broader access to the internet have advanced economical platforms than those that do not. This is because, their business is spread out globally and its coverage is more. Social interaction and commerce are depending more and more entirely on the internet.
The digital divide is different in different regions and different situations; however, the closing of the gap is the most important issue to most civilizations today. For instance, a survey conducted in several nations in Europe concentrating on the issue of the digital divide found out that age and education are the two main determining factors for the digital divide. This is because, the young and/or more educated have more interest and hence access to technology and the internet than the older and/or less educated. In Canada on the other hand, the rural urban placement of people dictates the digital divide. A study conducted there showed that around seventy-five percent of Canadians living in urban areas have access to the internet compared to sixty percent of those who live in rural areas. The survey also showed that earnings influence the digital divide a great deal. This is because; ninety percent of people making more than ninety thousand Canadian dollars a year use the internet. This is in comparison to about forty percent of people earning twenty thousand Canadian dollars and below per year (Compaine 218).
Other factors that majorly affect and influence the decrease or increase of the digital divide include state governance and commercial impacts of different countries. For state governance, the case scenario would be an instance where important social decisions are made via technological tools like the internet. This would mean that those without access to these resources would not be represented in the decision making process of the country or state. This would promote the digital divide. In the case of commercial impact, technological tools like the internet go a long way in providing business solutions to businesses due to the advertisement capabilities and solutions they offer. This is however limited to those businesses located in countries with poor resources. This increases the digital divide between the businesses (Mossberger, Caroline & Mary 127).
Compaine, Benjamin. The digital divide: facing a crisis or creating a myth? Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001. Print.
Meikle, Graham. Future active: media activism and the internet. Annandale NSW: Pluto Press Australia, 2002. Print.
Mossberger, Karen, Caroline Tolbert & Mary Stansbury. Virtual inequality: beyond the digital divide. Washington D.C: Georgetown University Press, 2003. Print.