March 10, 2019 • 1 min
Since the beginning of the Millennium, researchers have tried to bring attention to the “digital divide”, the uneven access to technology among different races, classes, and geographic areas. The term became part of the common lexicon in 1996 This was the point when personal computer (PC) use had shifted from 300,000 users in 1991 to more than 10 million users. The issue of the digital divide had to do with communities that received infrastructure upgrades that largely went to wealthy urban and suburban areas. Data from the Pew Research Center suggests that as technological devices get smaller, larger percentages of minority groups are using their cell phones to connect to the Internet. About 70% of people in minority groups connect to the web via such devices. While it might seem that the Internet is the Internet, regardless of how you get there, there’s a notable difference. Tasks like updating CVs or filling out job applications are much harder on a cell phone than on a wired computer. Therefore, the digital divide might also mean access to online technology that allows for empowerment, not just entertainment.