The following ariticle was taken from the introduction of a 2006 paper written by A-Level Student Chris Chan
The term "digital divide" was coined in the 1990s to describe the perceived growing gap between those who have access to and the skills to use ICT and those who, for socio-economic and/or geographical reasons, have limited or no access. There was a particular concern that ICT would exacerbate existing inequalities. A number of areas of specific concern were identified both here and abroad, namely that people could be disadvantaged by their geographic location, age, gender, culture and/or economic status.
One factor that contributes to the digital divide is the fact that in some areas of the world there are people that can’t afford items like mobile phones and just deem them a useless commodity. However, more and more people in poorer countries are beginning to utilize mobile phones and integrate them into everyday life, “ There are 85 million mobile phones in Africa, many used for communication that land lines have failed to deliver. And where there is no bank, you can now use your phone to transfer money.” “Farmers can find out commodity prices before selling their stock and health messages can be delivered by text, depending of course on good connections.” Although this feature has been around in the western world for quite some time now it just shows the economic state of some poorer countries. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4436614.stm
As well as economy being a factor contributing to the digital divide there is also the matter of age. Older people in general are less likely to be in touch with the technology which is ever-growing around them, nor do many want to be. An example of this would be the way in which old people collect their pension, for many years they have done the same routine of going to the post office and being given their pension by the cashier, however the government has recently introduced a new way of retrieving pension via machine. The new scheme is aimed at making pension collection easier and faster. Although the intention was good there are a lot of old people that didn't take to the new scheme and carried on collecting their pension from the post office, the reason being for the most part that they preferred the social contact that the post office had to offer.
Another key factor contributing to the digital divide is the individual differences of each person. In many circumstances people who come from a higher socioeconomic background are more likely to have being exposed to technology on a day to day basis, and because of this fact the people who are exposed to technology a lot are more likely to become reliant on it, whereas those who have lived primarily without constant exposure to technology can do without it and to re-educate themselves to be technologically literate in most cases would be too troublesome, and therefore don’t bother. However more and more nowadays technology is gradually becoming more affordable