Back to: Jss3 Computer Science – ICT (BST)
Topic: Concept of Digital Divide
WEEK: 1 – 3
Concept of Digital Divide
The digital divide is a term used to describe the gap that exists between individuals who have access to information technology and those who do not. This divide can exist between different populations, including those in rural and urban areas, those who are educated and uneducated, and those from different economic and industrial backgrounds. The term “digital divide” was originally used to describe the division between those with and without telephone access in the late 20th century, but it has since been primarily used to describe the split between those with and without Internet access, especially broadband.
There are also differences between the old and new economy. The old economy was characterized by a focus on job security and stability. Employees sought companies that offered financial advancement and stability over time, and it was not uncommon to spend one’s entire career with a single company. Job hopping was not encouraged and was often frowned upon.
- old economy work was viewed as something that you left behind when you clocked out at the end of the day. Employees were not expected to worry about the problems or challenges of the company; that was the responsibility of management. Respect was earned through productivity and sticking with a job, rather than by making promises. There was a clear hierarchy within the company structure, starting with management and trickling down to the employees with the most seniority.
- Before the economic boom, work was simply a means to earn a living. Employees focused solely on completing their job responsibilities, and workplace friendships were common but kept separate from work. Work schedules were more rigid, with specific start and end times, and overtime was only required when necessary.
- The qualities of a good computer professional have been outlined, and there are several key traits that can help individuals succeed in this field. These include a strong technical aptitude, problem-solving skills, attention to detail, effective communication, and adaptability. Additionally, good computer professionals must be lifelong learners, as technology is constantly changing and advancing. They must be willing to continually update their skills and knowledge to stay ahead of the curve.
- Other important qualities for computer professionals include creativity, critical thinking, time management skills, and the ability to work well under pressure. Good computer professionals must also be able to work well in teams and collaborate effectively with others. They must be able to explain complex technical issues to those without technical expertise and be able to adapt their communication style to meet the needs of their audience.
- The advent of information communication technology has transformed the economy, shifting it from mechanised to digital activities. This has led to instability, where short-term goals like release dates take priority over long-term stability. Money and stock options are expected, not earned, and employees are lured by the promise of quick wealth.
- In this new economy, there is an overwhelming focus on personal gain, rather than the good of the company. Employees are only committed as long as the company is doing well and their stock options are increasing. If there is no immediate payoff, employees are quick to move on to the next opportunity.
- The new economy is characterised by a shift in power from management to the most skilled individuals. Seniority is no longer the deciding factor in the pecking order. The arrival of talented new programmers can quickly change the hierarchy, regardless of how long someone has been with the company.
- In order to keep prized employees happy and meet deadlines, many companies in the new economy have implemented unique incentives like midday ping-pong tournaments, massages, and late-night pizza parties. While there is no clear answer as to what is better, finding a balance between the two extremes is key. Leaving work at the office is important, but there is nothing wrong with working late and having your boss treat you to pizza or bring in a massage therapist to ease the stress of the fast-paced, high-pressure environment.
Limitations of the Old Economy
- Access Limitations: Access to computer technology and the Internet was limited due to various factors. These factors included physical, financial, socio-demographic, cognitive, institutional, political, and cultural limitations.
- Physical Access: Access to the Internet was limited as there was little or no availability of computers, landlines, and networks for individuals and organizations to connect to the Internet. As a result, physical meetings were more common than using the Internet or other devices for communication.
- Financial Access: The high cost of ICT devices, software, applications, maintenance, infrastructure, and training limited access to computer technology. The cost of these resources was often beyond the reach of the common man, resulting in a lack of knowledge about computers and the Internet.
- Socio-Demographic Access: Access to the Internet was limited by social status, educational level, age, and income. However, gender was not much of an issue. These factors affected the ability of individuals to connect to and use the Internet.
- Cognitive Access: A certain level of education and information literacy was required to use computer technology effectively. The lack of cognition was a major limitation to the use of the Internet. Additionally, people with different learning and physical disabilities found it challenging to access and use computers.
- Institutional Access: Limited availability of computers in schools and other learning centres, as well as the lack of cyber cafes, made it difficult for people to learn computer technology on a personal basis.
- Political Access: Access to computers and the Internet was also determined by the political situation of a country. A democratic regime would view it as a means to make itself popular, while a military regime would view it as a tool for revolt by the populace based on access to information. Therefore, access to computers and the Internet in such a state was limited or nonexistent.
- Cultural Access: The language used on the Internet was a limiting factor because the language needed to convey information was often not understood across different cultural lines.
Benefits of the New Economy
- Ensuring equal standards of living: An economic policy based on mutual consideration would entail allocating public resources to raise the lower-income classes above the poverty line. Workshops and training programs that focus on life skills and personal finance would foster personal and economic independence. Overconsumption and reckless credit use, which have contributed to the global economic crisis since 2008, if not earlier, need to be addressed.
- Reducing the cost of living: When greed no longer fuels our commercial and economic relations and we seek reasonable profits, prices for products and services will decrease towards their actual cost. The lower-income classes will benefit the most from this deflation, and it will reduce social and economic inequality gaps.
- Narrowing inequality and social gaps: The constant increase in inequality has contributed to worldwide social unrest. The mutual guarantee economy can reduce inequality by bringing about economic and social concessions from the upper classes, as well as education and influence towards mutual guarantee. An effective decision-making process, known as “the round table,” can help ensure transparency and fairness, reflecting the social and economic consensus required by mutual guarantee relationships.
- Genuine budget reform: National budgets should have a more equitable order of priorities based on broad consensus, with an economy that allows everyone to understand and influence how decisions are made.
- Improving human relations: In a mutual guarantee-based economy, economic and governmental systems will become more people-friendly, and relationships between citizens, firms, and tax authorities will improve.
- Trust: A sense of trust in others is desperately needed for the transition to a new economy, and it can gradually develop through voluntary concessions and gestures in areas such as housing and rent prices, fair wage agreements, and simpler bureaucracy.
- Efficient decision-making process: Transparency and involvement in the decision-making process will help create sympathy with the decisions made, and public deliberation and broad consent can contribute to the narrowing of inequality.
- Balanced consumption: Gradual broad consent for balanced consumption that relies on practical calculations of utility and service in daily life will replace overconsumption.
- Improving the state of ecology and nature: The shift towards a mutual guarantee economy can positively impact the environment by reducing wastefulness and overconsumption.