Analysis Of The Digital Divide

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Introduction
Howard et al 2011 argues that social media plays a significant role in our digital lives as it can offer a path to revolution and democracy. I have chosen to address this question as in our modern day society, it is one of the most relevant topics in the age of the digital divide. To begin this essay, I am going to start with defining what the digital divide is, when and how it came to light and the specificities of the term. I will then discuss what a social network is and what it is used for. I think it is imperative to understand the specifics of the network in order to see how it can affect our world and the digital divide. Finally I will look at how the digital divide can be seen in both a positive and negative light and
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In short, it is the different access of information between those who have access to the internet and those who don’t. It is a social issue which brings in to place a number of factors such as physical access and skills that individuals may or may not have. The digital divide accounts for physical factors such as an individual physically have access to PC or broadband and also the quality of access, for example an individual having the skills and training to access information. The digital age represents how we, as a society, are able to participate in the economic, social and political factors that affect our lives. This furthermore underlines the significance of the digital divide in people’s existence. The digital divide has been seen to affect more than just an access to information. The issue of exclusion in terms of technological advances can lead to missed opportunities, particularly in economic…show more content…
In his paper, Professor Tim Unwin observes that although many people believe that social media including the use of SNS’s such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are instigating political progress, it is important to note that there is not always evidence to support such statements. Unwin notes that although it can be used in a way to instigate revolt and democratic actions such as in the case of The Arab Spring, many believe that it are a way of the government surveillance and a way of maintaining control over their citizens. His paper highlights three main arguments that can be used to contradict the argument that social media is a way forward for democracy. He speaks firstly of the detrimental impact on the poorest and most vulnerable in society and how social media is marginalising them even more so; the discernible divide that exists between those who have readily available access to internet and those who do not. Although he notes how there has been a dramatic reduction of cost for the access to information and mobile technologies, there is still a definite group who do not have access to these technologies and become ever-more distanced to new social, political and economic powers and changes. The second negative impact regarding social media and democracy that Professor Unwin observed was that space-time, sharing
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