As I seek to encourage people to see the possibilities and the positives in digital technology, it’s important to keep an eye on where the digital divide is (see recent Digital Leaders event), such as in this latest research:
“The real digital divide?’ report breaks down the demographics of people who are not gaining full benefit from the internet – either because they’re complete non-users, or that they’re using the internet in a limited way – be it only using one site or a couple of apps, or going online less than once a week.
90% of non users are likely to be disadvantaged – which takes into account poor health and disability, social class and those who left school at 16 or under. We know basic digital skills is a big issue (18% of people say they aren’t online as they don’t have the skills), but it’s not the only measure of whether people are digitally excluded. Looking at usage helps us to show that digital exclusion is a much more complex issue.
For people to thrive in today’s increasingly digital world, using the internet on a regular basis and using the breadth of what’s on offer is vital. This might be to keep an eye your bank balance, check on the price of your utilities, or to find work. Most people in work are using the internet on a daily basis. If people aren’t using the internet weekly, they’re likely to be excluded in a range of ways – including having less money available, fewer opportunities to find work, and less access to information that might make their lives better – such as health information, information to help their children with their homework, and more. So the way people are using the internet – how much and how often – is vital to understand whether they’re really getting the benefit they could be.”
Download report from Good Things Foundation.
Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital culture in the third sector (especially faith). Author of ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age’, regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.