Century has been characterized by enhanced interaction among human beings and
access to a myriad of information. All these are influenced by technological
advancements and access to computers and internet. However, disproportionate
access to technology is commonplace in the contemporary world, a term referred
to as digital divide. Principally, digital divide refers to a split in
information between persons who have access the internet versus the individual who lacks
access to connectivity. Digital divide continues
to expand in underprivileged groups such as the poor, rural settings, the
elderly and the disabled (Harris,
Straker & Pollock, 2017).
Apparently, digital inequality has a
synergy with the socio-economic status such that those in the lower quadrant
are the hardest hit. However, it is uncertain why the digital gap still exists
despite the increasing advances in technology as well as growing number of
manufacturers that have made access to the digital gadgets and platform
To address the gap, the
present study provides insights into the concept of digital divide by relating
the knowledge, use, and causes of the
disparity. Besides, the study also delves into the socio-economic aspect of the
digital divide and assess challenges
associated with bridging this gap. In addition, the impacts of access of
internet on the well-being of the ethnic minorities will also be assessed.
The concept of the digital divide is a considerable problem that affects both the developed and developing
economies. Even the United States of American that is considered the birthplace
of the internet is affected by the inequality ordeal. The difference can be
attributed to the socio-economic factors that hinder people’s purchasing power
al., 2008). Considerably, digital inequality is a concept of access to
the information communication and technology (ICT). Hence, digital divide
reflects behavior related to ICT. Essentially, citizens expect the government
of the day to develop ICT frameworks to enable easy access to this platform.
However, development of this infrastructure is influenced by the attitude of
the community (Hsieh et al., 2008). According to this
description, assessing the aspect of post-implementation acceptance provides an
understating on the adoption of this technology.
In essence, various
underlying factors influence the adoption and the acceptance of ICT provided by
the government to its citizens. Socio-economic
status influences outcomes and attitude such that the socioeconomic advantage
group yields a positive attitude compared
to the economically disadvantaged group.
Besides, perceived ease of use and control is also influenced by the
socioeconomic status (Hsieh et al., 2008). Hence, it is
evident that emotional variables such as fear and anxiety together with the
family structure and employment status influence attitude of adoption of
government establish ICT framework. The attitude of adoption is low among the
social-economic disadvantaged groups.
The study on the use of
digital technology among the young people in Australia showed insignificant disparity (Harris et al., 2017).
The young people embrace the use of technology in a similar spectrum. The inequality
is not identified since the government provides
universal internet hence the young people can readily use the internet
uniformly. However, it is apparent that digital use is not only limited to
computer access but is dependent on the infrastructural framework established
by the government (Harris et al., 2017). This is evident
by the existence of other platforms such as electronic games, non-academic
computers at school, exposure to TV and mobile phones. Neighborhood
socioeconomic status related to access to
this digital platform promotes IT competence of the young generation.
Consequently, this confirms that the subsequent generations will not have a
comparable digital divide in the future in Australia.