How is Covid-19 associated with and aggravating the digital divide?
Covid-19 has made the word telecommuting commonplace. On the other hand, there are some people who work from home but do not work properly. Until now, work has usually been perceived to be done in the office. However, after the Covid-19 happened, a new custom of working in places such as houses and coffee shops emerged. Online classes have become inevitable as students are blocked from school to prevent coronavirus infections. As overseas business trips become more difficult, communicating with overseas customers via video is no longer a strange scene. At first, it was awkward and uncomfortable in a new way that was unfamiliar. Now, everyone is taking it as a new normal and trying to adapt. This way of doing things or teaching online is, among other things, thanks to today’s digital technology. But not everyone enjoys the benefits of digital technology. As digital becomes more common, the classes that make good use of it increase knowledge and increase income, while those who do not use digital do not develop at all, and the gap between the two classes is growing, which is called Digital Divide (Pazurek & Feyissa, 2015).
According to Greenling’s statistics, 22 percent of California residents are usually not connected to the Internet because it costs too much to access the Internet (2020). These economic barriers have the greatest impact on low-income families and colored communities. Looking at this phenomenon, we realize that the Covid-19 incident is deepening the digital divide. It is time to reduce the digital gap that is alienated from the information society due to poor utilization of digital technology and establish a “Digital Inclusion” society so that as many people as possible can utilize and enjoy the benefits of digital technology (2016). What is most needed to enhance the utilization of digital technology is education. Digital literacy needs to be understood as a concept that encompasses not only the understanding and utilization of digital technology but also the civic consciousness of striving for a better community (Loewus, 2016). Various educational programs should be operated, taking into account the level of each class, from teenagers to the elderly. Only then people will be able to learn rapidly developing digital technology and use it as a means of improving their quality of life as well as increasing their income.
Digital or technology should be equal before people. According to the Benton Institute, digital equality is literally the concept that everyone in society should have digital tools (2016). Increasingly advanced smart devices are a scary thing for older people. This is because it is difficult to adapt to this ever-changing era of 3rd generation smart devices in fixed devices such as PCs and phones. Therefore, practical on-site education and support for the elderly are needed at the national level, local governments, and private levels.
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