Who Faces Digital Inequality?

“Digital equality means bringing the world of access and opportunity to every person, no matter where they live.” – Melissa Greene 

Digital inequalities exists among all ages, races, and genders in society.

In Digital Inequalities And Why They Matter, by Robinson et al, this information is presented categorically.

First, age.

As technology continues to evolve, usage is also spreading to younger generations. In today’s society, it is not uncommon to see a child using some form of technology. Parents share information about their families on their social media accounts as a way to stay connected with their friends, and distant relatives. However, depending on a number of different variables, not all families have the same access to certain technologies.

child-using-cell-phone

source: google

Socioeconomic status plays a major role in digital engagement. Individuals faced with economic disadvantages tend to have limited access to resources. Children who grow up deprived of digital use have a harder time in school and struggle later in life when applying for jobs.

The level of digital skills an individual acquires can either be detrimental or advantageous when it comes to entering the work force. Some jobs require experience and knowledge of different programs and devices necessary for particular jobs.

Next, gender.

2000px-Venus_symbol.svg

source: google

Studies have shown that women have a lower frequency of use, lower intensity of use, and weaker internet skills compared to men. Over the years as technology has advanced, women have been filling the gap between male vs female digital use.

Recent studies have shown that men are more likely to have jobs that involve technology. Also, women are more likely to use technology for communication and social support due to underestimating their skills when they compare themselves to men.

Finally, race and ethnicity.

Studies have shown that disadvantaged minorities in the United States have less social capitol and smaller networks. On a global perspective, digital inequalities come from the division between the Global North and Global South. For example, only 3% of the world’s internet users live in Africa.

 

 

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