The Lost Generation of Digital Consumers
The gap is wide. Can you guess what percentage of the world is connected to the internet? Well, according to TIME website http://time.com/money/3896219/internet-users-worldwide/ , over 3 billion people use the internet with the majority living in the developed world. 82.2% of the developed world use the internet while 35.3% of the developing world online. So your next question might be how can we bridge this gap? Well, according to http://www.oecdobserver.org/news/archivestory.php/aid/408/Learning_to_bridge_the_digital_divide.html, it starts by introducing the digitally illiterate population to computer technology and at the same time reducing internet censorship in these countries. Below is a video by Aleph Molinari giving some of his ideas about how to bridge the divide.
However, the digital divide isn’t just a problem in developing countries, the world’s largest economy, the United States of America, have their own internal digital divide. Among ethnic minorities such as African Americans and Latinos, lack of internet connectivity is most noticeable with 42% and 41.8% having access to the internet respectively, compared to 66.3% of whites according to a 2001 survey by http://cjtc.ucsc.edu/docs/r_techreport5.pdf. A more recent study about the digital divide can be seen below.
Also, the elderly and other older adults are another gap in the digital divide in the Western world. According to a 2004 study by http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1286/1206, only 3.9% of elderly people (age 70+) in Germany are online or have access to the internet. So, how can we close this gap you ask? Well, first, any learning deficits need to be addressed and computer companies need to target the elderly more frequently. By addressing learning difficulties with professional help the elderly will be less intimated when it comes to using and accessing digital technology. In addition, targeted marketing toward the elderly will be provide the interest needed to give the elderly a reason to go online. Through this process, the elderly community will value online resources because of the many benefits of being digitally literate. Plus, they wont end up like the nice old lady below.