The fact is, tech-savvy members of our global society are actually a minority. For many people the smartphone has seamlessly integrated itself into everyday routines and become more like a friend that is always there. Your ability to read this post is an example that is taken for granted. Because this relationship is so comfortable it’s natural to assume that it’s the same, or should be, for everyone else. But this assumption is false!
Easy now, don’t go negative on me. Just continue reading and maybe you will gain a different perspective on this assumption. For many individuals the digital world of the smartphone is not-equal, just as traditional forms of inequality of which we are all too familiar; gender, race, age, and health. Also, Digital Literacy is usually a challenge for them so they have limited tech-skills. These traditional inequalities have carried over to the online environment and together with their limited tech-skills, have not made things better.
As the smartphone seamlessly integrated itself into their everyday routines, these digital disparities negatively affect their normal functions of daily life; finding work, building businesses, shopping, accessing healthcare, learning, socializing and even replying to surveys. They do not enjoy advantages as those who function better in the digital realm.
Why the lack of tech-skills? Everyone learns in a different manner, at a different pace and has a different reading comprehension level. There are also many people that are intimidated by technology. Suffice-it-to-say, for one reason-or-another, they were not provided an effective means of learning to use new technology. Many current tech-savvy users, whither they admit it or not, struggled with their initial encounter with a smartphone. Learning to use this device from scratch is not an easy thing to do, especially without some skilled assistance.
You’ve probably heard or read something like, “75% of Americans own a smartphone”. Ok they own one, but it didn’t say they knew how to use it. You probably have friends that aren’t very good at using their smartphone.
So the mobile device has only started integrating itself into global society and a major benefactor of this integration, for all concerned, is healthcare. We therefore desperately need an easily accessible & effective means for everyone to get a-little-tech-savvy. Because being on the wrong side of the digital divide does indeed have consequences.
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