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Understanding the Digital Divide

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Understanding the Digital Divide

New technology can improve society and the way that society communicates, conducts business, listens to music, reads books, and learns. Social media creates links between people across states, across the country, and across the oceans. Business has become global. Corporations have headquarters in one country, production in another, and customer service in another. An individual can purchase items from all across the world and have it in his or her hands within days. Music and books can be downloaded to handheld devices, computers, and telephones. People are able to attend college from their living rooms on their computers. Technology is the wave of the future. But, what if someone does not have access to these technologies? This creates a digital divide which can impact our society. According to Seckin (2010) " Digital divide is a term used to describe consumer disparities in access to information and communication technologies based on age, gender, race and socio-economic characteristics and geographic location. It is established that demographic and economic factors are strongly correlated with computer and Internet use" (p. 4).

Digital divide is a term that explains that some people are users of technology and some are non-users. The divide crosses many lines; race, religion, and socio-economic. Users, when race is the focal point, are most likely to be middle-class and white. Minorities make up a largest portion of non-users. According to Modarres (2011) "African American residents of rural areas and central cities had the lowest level of access to computers (6.4 and 10.4 percent), followed by central city Latinos (10.5 percent)" (p. 4).

The digital divide also includes socio-economic divides. The fact is that if a household can afford to have access to computers and the Internet then that household probably does. Unfortunately there is a divide created when a household is of lower income. According to Celano (2010) "just 15 percent of those within comes between $20,000 and $25,000 did. Overall, 65 percent of all Americans have broadband connections in their homes. Among those Americans who make less than $25,000, 65 percent lack broadband access" (p. 50).

I have battled a digital divide myself writing and researching this paper; computer hard-drive crashed and was sent to HP, borrowed computer has limited access to files, programs, or anything resembling updated equipment, I have come to the final time limit to turn this in. I apologize for the incomplete paper and do hope for partial credit. I also am sad that I finally found a topic that interests me greatly and I am unable to continue with this paper and this research. Please forgive my unfinished paper and know that I would rather submit something than nothing as I did last week after the crash and loss of my last paper.




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