No one even noticed when it started, like the frog in a pan of water slowly heating-up and not realizing its too hot until it’s too late. High School students began teaching senior citizens to use new technology in communities across the country, soon college students began to do the same.
When organizations started to lend a hand, they noticed middle age adults were also attending and had to provide facilities for larger attendance. Soon requests for assistance in learning to use computer software like Microsoft Office became rather demanding. To accommodate requests and a larger attendance, volunteers stepped forward as these non-profit organizations had no funding for additional staff.
This was the moment a change in society began to take shape. This was when people began to realize that without computer skills and access to the Internet they were no longer well placed to gain the qualifications required to get ahead in life. And the time when a person could acquire all necessary skills to get ahead in life without a computer, would never be seen again. The Digital Divide had made its presence known.
Now, many employers won’t even consider someone without a useful online identity, let alone read a hand-written resume, portfolio or job application. The Digital Divide demands everyone have an online identity or face ever-diminishing prospects. Even Senior Citizens must upgrade their skill-set to adequately communicate with family, medical services and pay bills.
Also, information is now, arguably, in more abundant supply than in any other time in history. This is particularly true of local, state and federal government websites, which provide many essential services we all rely on. Too many of us find it difficult to locate the information we need, when we need it.
Urban civic activists are now calling attention to the inequities in information access. They argue that where information is or isn’t accessible can reinforce privilege (knows how to access info) and limit opportunities for individuals in underserved and marginalized communities (doesn’t know how to access info).
Media coverage of the “digital divide” and issues of digital equity center on issues of physical access to the Internet. Some researchers now suggest that equality of access be replaced with equity of access, which focuses on information availability, online, to people from all walks of life and especially the poor and disadvantaged.
Many in society have chosen to ignore or turn-a-blind-eye to the effects of the Digital Divide, this only fueled its widening and brought it to the current crisis point. On the other hand, credit must be given to Volunteers who gave of their time to assist and thereby slowing its progress, but most of society knew this crisis was coming. (And some of them actually contributed to its pace)
Admittedly, the service we campaign for may not eliminate the Digital Divide but it can begin to narrow it. Obviously, the technology industry has not been able to adequately address these issues or the crisis would not be here, and growing.
On the Social City Net website alone are over a Hundred articles about digital literacy and its effects, authors include: The President, heads of software companies, heads of mobile device companies, journalists and high school principles.
The time to put a serious service in place to help address digital literacy is now. Please support this effort by contributing to our campaign on Indiegogo starting Monday, December 14, 2015.
- Kim Gomez | huffingtonpost.com | 02/18/2015
- Tony Marx | huffingtonpost.com | 01/13/2015
- Alexander Howard | huffingtonpost.com | 07/16/2015
- Elizabeth Rust | theguardian.com | 06/23/2014
- Steve Smith | medicaldaily.com | 07/13/2015
- Laurie Orlov | ageinplacetech.com | 11/04/2015
- Aaron Smith | pewinternet.org | 04/03/2014
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