The Digital Divide

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I recently read an article in the Guardian that suggested that the digital divide, even terming it the 'so-called digital divide', was blurring and lessening. We installed Google Analytics a few weeks ago and it suggests that we have already had visitors from 184 countries or territories out of a total of about 192. There are some places whose status is not established or clear, but this does show that a single site can attract visitors from almost everywhere.

However, I do not feel that the optimistic suggestions that the digital divide has blurred to the extent where we have to "rethink previous views about who has access to technology". It is still the case that the overwhelming majority of people visiting out site come from developed countries. While $100 dollar computers are to be welcomed, as any widening of access is good, it should be remembered that this still represents over three months' salary for the large numbers of people working for a dollar a day; I lived in a developing country where this would include 40% of the population. The differentials between the developed and the developing worlds are still considerable, and the fact that we have managed to get visitors from all over the world does not mean that there is no digital divide, nor that it is time to rethink our views on the huge discrepancies between the rich and the poor countries. The overall picture of our visitors is still dominated by the more developed nations. The digital world is clearly spreading, but very far from evenly.

Categories: General

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