One topic I have recently learned about is the “Digital Divide.” Even if you have never heard this term used, you will recognize what it is. As quoted in “The digital divide: global and regional ICT leaders and followers,” (2010) the digital divide is “the gap between individuals, households, businesses and geographic areas at different socioeconomic levels with regard both to their opportunities to access information and communication technologies (ICTs) and to their use of the Internet for a wide variety of activities.” Different researchers make different claims as to if this divide is shrinking or widening. The overall goal should be that the divide shrinks.
“Addressing the Digital Divide Within Your Organization” offers a few simple techniques to help shrink the divide that may be at you place of employment. The author, Steve Radick is a Vice President of Public Relations at Cramer-Krasselt so he should be extremely reliable. He discussing how frustrating even talking to someone who does not understand technology or the Internet can be. For example many people, especially where I live, have no idea what a browser is or what even Firefox. I feel like at times it is even hard for me to stay up to date on the latest social media, however, there are many people who still haven’t the slightest idea what twitter is.
Radick offers a key word to deal with those across the digital divide and it is empathy. When trying to talk to him or her, genuinely listen to their thoughts. He claims that as easily as it is to criticize, this only creates more frustration on both sides. Try to offer you help and understanding to others when explaining unknown terms. I think this is great advice that will help not only bridge the divide but also create stronger working relationships.
Citation of source:
Ayanso, A, Cho, D. I., & Lertwachara, K. (2010). The digital divide: Global and regional ICT leaders and followers. Information Technology for Development, 16(4). 304-319. doi: 10.1080/02681102.2010.504698