If you’re reading this, chances are you are educated and come from a relatively well off family. Maybe you are reading this on a phone or tablet that you own. It is also very likely that this access to technology and the learned ability to effectively wield its power gives you a better chance to be economically successful, politically acute and socially adept.
Today’s technology is simultaneously ubiquitous and obscure. It is fundamental to the very fabric of our 21st century lives, yet overlooked and taken for granted. At least by those with access to it. But what happens when effective use of technology, and all its power to enable and transform, bypasses already disadvantaged communities? What happens when a huge proportion of Americans enters the increasingly competitive global work force with a second-tier ability to navigate in a digital world?
The term “digital divide” has taken on a new meaning in the last decade, as now nearly every American who wants to, can obtain access to countless information and communication technologies. Now, the digital divide refers to critical differences in how individuals access, navigate and benefit from them. And these differences are extensive.