Bridging the Digital Divide

The Digital Divide is a social issue defined as the gap that exists between different level of users when discussing access to technology. When trying to isolate what are some of the causes behind it, what is clear that economics is one contributing factor or the driving force.

Advances in technology continually change the way we live and adapt to our surroundings. While the aim of technology has always been, and will always be to make our lives more efficient, to enhance everyday experiences- but there are some groups who have little or no access to technology and its many benefits. Technology spans through to several mediums, and now effects our lives more than it ever.

11 million people with low or no digital skills in the UK, and there is a very significant overlap between those who are digitally excluded and those who suffer from health inequalities. Half of all people who are offline have a disability, and among over 65s (who account for half of NHS spending) more than a third (36%) have never been online. Technology is helping people to think more intelligently about their lifestyle, exercise regime, diet and overall health. It is also allowing people to complete health transactions online, such as ordering repeat prescriptions, checking hospital reviews or booking hospital and GP appointments. Digital inclusion has a huge impact on wellbeing, helping people connect with friends and family, find jobs, feel less isolated, save money and access education.

“If you don’t let people grow and develop and make more decisions, it’s a waste of human life — a waste of human potential. If you don’t use your knowledge and skill, it’s a waste of life. Using the technology to its full potential means using the man to his full potential.‎”

The influx of technology over the 21st century has created a digital divide, and while most of society are technology reliant, there are still a large number of people ( a shocking 36% have never been online), not jut in the UK but world wide that do not have regular access to technology. Technology has a predominant effect on all sectors, including education, retail and healthcare. By introducing more technology into retail, a wider audience would be able to access and explore the possibilities and benefits of technology they may not have had access too.  I hope to bring more innovative means of technology into fashion retail in order to enhance the shopping experience as well as educate other groups who may not have as much access to technology.

  • Anthony Carranza, 2013,The Digital Divide: the reality frequently ignored by computer consumers, available at  http://anthonydcarranza.wordpress.com, last accessed 26th November 2013
  • Mark Warschauer,(2004), Technology and Social Inclusion: Rethinking the Digital Divide,MIT Press,pg 184.
  • Helen Milner, 1 November 2013, The preventative care revolution depends on closing the digital divide, available : http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2013/nov/01/nhs-preventive-care-digital-divide, last accessed 26th November 2013.
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