Benefits Of Narrowing The Digital Divide And Harnessing The Power Of Information Technology
Today, the internet is home to a substantial number of users and this number is growing rapidly. The largest population of internet users comes from the U.S. However, the internet is accessible in more than 180 countries. A global phenomenon, the internet has transformed the way people learn, interact, and conduct their business. More than 3 billion people use the internet today.
The internet provides an unparalleled and unlimited service to bring people of the world closer, provide entertainment, enhance educational opportunities, and boost commercial activities. It has reshaped the way people live and it continues to impact our day-to-day life.
Today, no country in the world can survive for long if it continues to shun the internet. This is the reason many corporations and policymakers are making tireless efforts to encourage people to participate in and benefit from all that the internet has to offer. Unfortunately, there are still people in the world that are yet to make the transition to the internet. This lack of transition leads to the digital divide.
Digital divide is the gulf between those who have ready access to computers and the Internet, and those who do not. This divide typically exists between the urban and the rural population, between socioeconomic groups, between the literate and the illiterate and between developed nations and third world countries. It is a proven fact that the internet creates significant economic benefits for those that adopt it and creates significant economic disadvantages for those that don’t. This is the reason why narrowing the digital divide and harnessing the power of information technology is important.
There are many benefits of narrowing the digital divide and harnessing the power of information technology. Following are some of them.
In developed countries, the internet is considered as a basic component of civil life. Unfortunately, many lesser developed/third world countries do not share the same sentiments. It is important to make these countries and those living in them understand the fact that the internet has the ability to change their lives socially and financially. Therefore, it is in their best interest to adopt the use of the internet wholeheartedly and work for its uplift.
Today, sound education isn’t possible without the use of computer and computer networks. These two things play a key role in the learning process and career development. Unfortunately, the role of computer and computer networks in education hampers the development of children in lower socioeconomic status. The local governments must take some sort of initiative to support these children and narrow the digital divide by providing equal opportunities.
The less developed nations can take a shortcut to economic growth by developing information technology infrastructure and ensuring its wide scale use. Productivity improvements are generally what information technologies are associated with. Countries can fuel economic growth by making the latest technologies available to the various local industries.
The gap between the digital haves and have-nots has been narrowing gradually. However, there is still much to do before everyone starts benefiting from the economic and social benefits of modern communication.