Question:

Why does the digital divide matter?

Closing the Digital Divide

Closing the gap between those with access to computers and the Internet, and the skills to use those tools to best advantage is important for promoting economic opportunity: as more and more jobs rely on computer skills, the computer illiterate are closed out of more and more economic opportunities.

As more information and services are transmitted online, computer illiteracy will push those on the downside of the digital divide further to the margins of society. Similarly, some argue that the use of the Internet would lead to a more democratic society as public participation in election and decision making processes increases. If already underrepresented people continue to be unable to participate in such forums, the digital divide will reinforce a socio-economic and socio-political divide. Such factors translate to the lesson that closing (or at least bridging) the digital divide will have huge advantages for both the current digital disadvantaged, as well as for society at large.

Donating to and working with organizations that promote computer and technology education as well as general literacy and work skills is worth considering as you choose nonprofit organizations and charitable causes to support.

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Joe Wallace