20% of Europeans have never used the internet. As computers become increasingly involved in all aspects of daily life and work, is Europe facing a divide between the digital “haves” and “have nots”. Technology promises a bright future for some, but are others being left in the dark?
Studies have long been arguing that a “digital divide” exists between young, trendy metropolitans with disposable income who are comfortable with the whirlwind pace of technological change, and older people, poorer people, and people living in rural areas. That’s a generalisation and there are obviously many individual exceptions, but it’s undeniable that some Europeans can more easily reap the benefits of technology than others. In Greece, for example, almost one in four disadvantaged 15-year-olds can only access the internet at school, whereas the equivalent figure is only 2% in the Netherlands.
Want to learn more about the divide in access to technology in Europe? Check out our infographic below (click for a bigger version):
We had a comment from Karel arguing that more consideration needs to be paid to access to technologies, and warning that it was important that the “digital gap” in Europe should not widen further.
To get a response, we spoke to David Calle, a popular Spanish YouTuber and founder of Unicoos, an e-learning website that helps students learn about maths, physics, and chemistry online. Does he think that technology, including online video, is primarily benefiting younger, wealthier Europeans? In other words, what about all the people who can’t afford (or can’t understand) a shiny new tablet or smartphone?
For another perspective, we also spoke to Patry Jordan, a popular YouTuber whose channel, ‘Secretos de Chicas’, has over two million subscribers. She was more optimistic about the benefits that technology could bring:
How can we avoid a ‘digital divide’ in Europe? Is society dividing into those who can afford the latest gadgets and gizmos, and those stuck in the 20th Century? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!