The Digital Divide
5, July, 2007 Leave a comment
When we talk about the digital divide, we often talk of the gap between those who are technologically advanced, as opposed to those who have less oppotunity or access to technology.
At one level, we can talk about the digital divide between the richer developed countries and the poorer less developed ones who don’t have the infrastructure for a digital lifestyle.
But that may be changing, as on another level, as a recent survey by communications planning firm Universal McCann shows, “netizens from China, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines have the most active blogospheres.” The survey also found that Singapore holds the 8th place as most avid bloggers in the world. In addition, not only are some of the less developed countries more actively blogging and reading blogs, they also participate more in social and new media such as podcasting and sharing of photos and videos.
Thus, perhaps it’s time to rethink what constitutes ‘first world’ status and challenge traditional definitions of ‘first world’ and ‘the digital divide’.
On another level, I would like to add that the digital divide can be seen on a more personal basis, in terms of the gap in technological know-how and tech-savvyness between the younger and older members in a household. This is turning the age-old adage of ‘older and wiser’ on its head!
Mark Prensky has coined the terms ‘digital native’ and ‘digital immigrants’ to describe the two groups, and I think it’s important that both parties learn to bridge the gap, so mind the gap!