Examining Digital Divide by Devi Nandana Biju-12G

We live in a world where inequalities seem to only multiply with every passing day- and these inequalities are ever the more apparent during these pandemic times- with large numbers of the population being pushed to the fringes of society and a global shift to the virtual platform. However, the truth is that this so-called “global shift”, isn’t global at all- it leaves a large number of us trailing behind- essentially breaking up the world into two starkly different parts, far away from each other. This phenomenon is called the “Digital Divide”.

The digital divide can be described as a distinction between the haves and have-nots, but in a more modern sense. It is the “gap between demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology and those that don’t have access or have restricted access.” Up until the late twentieth century, the digital divide was restricted to merely telephone access, but with the onset of the twenty-first century and rapid developments in the fields of technology and communication, this issue of access has invaded almost all spheres of our lives, including work and education.

The key to bridge this divide is to pave ways to guarantee universal access. One way this can be achieved is through funding the setting up of community access centers where students and the youth can access internet connections and devices for free whenever they wish to. This will also have the additional benefit of increasing technology literacy within communities. Other solutions include encouraging government spending on technology subsidies in order to increase access by increasing affordability and inviting the local community to pool resources to invest in enabling access at the grassroots level.

By adopting these solutions and thus addressing the issue, we can ensure that no one trails behind in the path to growth