Knowledge Management/Information Technology
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration & U. S. Department of Commerce (2000) defines digital divide as the “inequities of access to technology based on factors of income, education, race, and ethnicity” (cited in O’Brien & Scharber, 2008, p. 67). Due to the inequalities that exist in the world, especially in terms of financial resources and capabilities, society is divided into two types when it comes to being digitally literate. “Living on the wrong side of the digital divide, as do the persistent poor, means being cut off from these changes and disconnected from the information society” (Servon, 2002, p. 2).
This is because the continuous changing of times require people to be technologically literate and capable to be able to keep up with others. Personally, I do not believe that digital divide is a major problem in the United States. Honan (2006a) presents evidence that people even from low socioeconomic backgrounds have access to technology due to a decrease in the cost of computer technologies and Internet services, as well as the emergence of mobile phone technologies (cited in Honan & Anderson, 2008, p. 86).
Also, educational institutions have made it a point to offer computer and Internet courses, as well as Internet access to their students and staff, which make it easier for these people to become technologically literate. This allows a possibility to bridge the gap between the digital divide. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said in some parts of the world. It should not be forgotten that third world countries exist today. These poor countries are not able to focus and give their full attention to such things such as digital divide because they have other more serious problems to face such as poverty itself, hunger, and homelessness.
As such, it follows that digital divide is a major problem for them. People who can afford such technologies are fortunate while those who are poor and cannot afford to spend the amount of money it takes to become digitally literate cannot do anything about it and continue to live their lives like this unless some opportunity presents to them. It becomes a major problem because people from the other side of the divide has more edge when it comes to opportunities, especially in trying to find work and living a comfortable life.