The 21stCentury has been characterized by enhanced interaction among human beings andaccess to a myriad of information. All these are influenced by technologicaladvancements and access to computers and internet.
However, disproportionateaccess to technology is commonplace in the contemporary world, a term referredto as digital divide. Principally, digital divide refers to a split ininformation between persons who have access the internet versus the individual who lacksaccess to connectivity. Digital divide continuesto expand in underprivileged groups such as the poor, rural settings, theelderly and the disabled (Harris,Straker & Pollock, 2017).Apparently, digital inequality has asynergy with the socio-economic status such that those in the lower quadrantare the hardest hit. However, it is uncertain why the digital gap still existsdespite the increasing advances in technology as well as growing number ofmanufacturers that have made access to the digital gadgets and platformrelatively affordable. To address the gap, thepresent study provides insights into the concept of digital divide by relatingthe knowledge, use, and causes of thedisparity.
Besides, the study also delves into the socio-economic aspect of thedigital divide and assess challengesassociated with bridging this gap. In addition, the impacts of access ofinternet 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 developingeconomies. Even the United States of American that is considered the birthplaceof the internet is affected by the inequality ordeal. The difference can beattributed to the socio-economic factors that hinder people’s purchasing power(Hsieh etal., 2008). Considerably, digital inequality is a concept of access tothe information communication and technology (ICT). Hence, digital dividereflects behavior related to ICT.
Essentially, citizens expect the governmentof the day to develop ICT frameworks to enable easy access to this platform.However, development of this infrastructure is influenced by the attitude ofthe community (Hsieh et al., 2008). According to thisdescription, assessing the aspect of post-implementation acceptance provides anunderstating on the adoption of this technology. In essence, variousunderlying factors influence the adoption and the acceptance of ICT provided bythe government to its citizens.
Socio-economicstatus influences outcomes and attitude such that the socioeconomic advantagegroup yields a positive attitude comparedto the economically disadvantaged group.Besides, perceived ease of use and control is also influenced by thesocioeconomic status (Hsieh et al., 2008). Hence, it isevident that emotional variables such as fear and anxiety together with thefamily structure and employment status influence attitude of adoption ofgovernment establish ICT framework. The attitude of adoption is low among thesocial-economic disadvantaged groups. The study on the use ofdigital 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 inequalityis not identified since the government providesuniversal internet hence the young people can readily use the internetuniformly. However, it is apparent that digital use is not only limited tocomputer access but is dependent on the infrastructural framework establishedby the government (Harris et al., 2017).
This is evidentby the existence of other platforms such as electronic games, non-academiccomputers at school, exposure to TV and mobile phones. Neighborhoodsocioeconomic status related to access tothis digital platform promotes IT competence of the young generation.Consequently, this confirms that the subsequent generations will not have acomparable digital divide in the future in Australia.