Digital Poverty And The Digital Divide

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Introduction While the internet has brought tremendous social and economic opportunities to billions of people around the world, the remaining billions of people have been left on the short side of the gap known as the digital divide. This divide has contributed the perpetuation of poverty in developing nations tremendously by causing the people who live in these places to fall behind in adapting socioeconomic markets. Without access to the internet or even the software and hardware required to gain such access, the digital divide only continues to grow ever wider. However, the rise of social media may provide an optimistic outlook for those who have long been without access to the vast banks of information contained within the internet. …show more content…
17). This gap can contribute to the perpetuation of poverty through both social and economic implications. Without access to the internet, it can become increasingly difficult for individuals, organizations, and even entire countries to compete on a global business scale (Naidoo & Raju, 2012). Access to up-to-date and functional information systems can allow impoverished peoples the opportunity to sell goods on an open market, communicate with others around the world, and gain access to local, national, and global news networks, and the lack of such access can quickly leave these peoples stuck trading and interacting in stagnant economic and social markets. In January of 2011, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak provided an excellent demonstration of the economic implications of this gap when he blocked all Egyptian citizens from accessing the internet for five days in response to social media activity calling for a “Revolution Day” (Ali, 2011). In those five days alone, the country’s GDP took an estimated $90 million hit (Ali, 2011). If a country worth over $330 billion annually can take such a dramatic loss in less than a week due to a loss of internet access, the possibility of growth for developing nations with the ability to utilize information communication technology is virtually unlimited (World Bank, …show more content…
Social networks such as Facebook allow users to communicate with others around the world in a variety of settings, both social and professional. In addition, video conference programs can enable tremendous opportunities in the field of education. For example, a teacher in the United States or other developed nation can teach an entire class of students in an underprivileged area through a video communication program such as Skype or Facebook without ever needing to leave the country, and a teacher in a developing nation can have access to many of the same resources and databases as a teacher in the United Kingdom (Ali, 2011). Such educational opportunities can then lead to greater chances of economic success for impoverished individuals, which could contribute to the further development of the nation as a whole. Internet users also have access to vast amounts of information contained in online libraries, databases, journals, and news sites (Nieminen, 2016). This access allows for not only a greater education but also a far wider understanding of national and global political

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