Before proceeding to delve into the meaning of the term digital divide, it is necessary to previously know the etymological origin of the two words that shape it. In this case, we can underline the following:
-Brecha is a noun that comes from French, specifically from “bréche”. This can be translated as “broken” and it is considered that, in turn, comes from the Germanic “breham”.
-Digital, on the other hand, has its etymological origin in Latin. It is considered to come from “digitalis”, which means “relative to the finger” and that it is the result of the sum of two components: the noun “digitus”, which is synonymous with “finger”, and the suffix “-al”, which is used to express “relative to”.
To know what a digital divide is, it is convenient to analyze the terms that make up the expression. It called gap to an opening or separation. Digital, for its part, refers to the system or element that contains information expressed through the use of discrete signals.
The idea of the digital divide, in this framework, is used to refer to the existing distance between social groups with regard to access and use of information and communication technologies (ICT).
According to DigoPaul, the digital divide can be caused by economic, social or geographical reasons, to name a few possibilities. When this gap exists, there is a group of people who can access and use technological tools regularly, while another group does not have this possibility. This digital divide creates an inequality of opportunities: without access to technology, it is not possible to use information to generate new knowledge.
It is common for the digital divide to be measured with respect to the Internet connection. Suppose that, in country X, 76% of the population connects to the Internet at least once a day, while in nation Y only 18% of the residents have a connection. As you can see, there is a huge difference between the two countries: that is the digital divide between the two.
The State, through public policies, must work to eliminate the digital divide and democratize the access and use of ICT. Reducing the digital divide also means a reduction in inequalities in general, allowing more people to have the possibility to learn and find better jobs, for example.
It is important to work on the elimination of the digital divide as it is considered that new technologies bring with them numerous advantages, among which we can highlight the following:
-They give the possibility of communicating with any corner of the world quickly and easily.
-They offer the power to access multiple sources of knowledge.
-They become an ideal tool to achieve the desired training.
-They are a great resource to be able to work from home.
-They also give the possibility of being able to buy and sell anywhere on the planet.
-No less relevant is that they are a great alternative when it comes to having assistance and surveillance at home when you are sick or have a disability.
-They are an inexhaustible source of entertainment.