The digital difference is a term that I’ve come across numerous times before. While I knew it existed and what it meant, I was astonished to find the inequality caused by the differences had the same level of impact as other mainstream inequalities such as racism, sexism, ageism etc.
One of the micro factors behind the digital difference that I focused on was age. I found that in the UK the younger generations are more digitally active than the older generations. Doug’s post showed similar findings in the US. I noticed that there was a substantially larger increase in the proportion of internet users in the 65+ age bracket than the 18-29 from 2000 to 2011. However, Doug later pointed out the increase is partially due to people from younger age brackets transitioning into the 65+ bracket. This signified how difficult it is to measure the number new internet users and digital activity in general.
A macro factor I focus on was a countries’ GDP. I found that a countries GDP was positively correlated with how digitally active the citizens of the country were. I found that a developed country, the UK, had a greater proportion of people who were digitally active than a less economically developed country, Ghana and vice versa. This signifies the importance of reducing digital differences as lowering digital differences will help reduce the consequences of other inequalities such as poverty. While women have better cognitive skills than men, women tend to choose jobs that are more feminine thus leading to a lower pay (Mitra, 2002). Lowering digital differences will also reduce inequalities that arise from sexism as it empowers women by giving them the opportunity to go into unorthodox job industries.
However, I believe a government intervention is necessary especially in LEDCs.
Word count: 297
My comment on Doug’s post.
My comment on Tom’s post.
Mitra, A. (2002) Mathematics skill, and male-female wages. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 31 (5), 443-456.