Factors which create the Digital Divide - Social
It is important that the digital divide does not lead to social exclusion. There should not be groups of people who cannot benefit from the digital technology because of lack of access or poor skills.

Social factors that contribute to the digital divide include:

  • age
  • gender
  • family structure
  • education
  • ethnicity
  • motivation


Age - It seems to be that young people feel more comfortable with the new technology and are able to benefit from it more than older people.

Older people are less likely to have a computer and are less likely to be interested in using the Internet.


Gender - Boys use computers and the Internet more than girls.


Family structure - Families with children have more computers and Internet access than families without.


Education - In order to benefit from the digital technology people must know how to use it. ICT has become a major subject taught in most schools but many adults did not have the opportunity to learn how to use computers when they were in school.

Literacy skills are important for people to read web pages. Those unable to read well will not benefit from information on the Internet - they may only use computers to play games.


Ethnicity - Different ethnic groups have different attitudes to technology. Many deprived areas of large cities have high numbers of people in differing ethnic groups. This may have an effect on wealth and education

If English is not a first language - this may cause problems.


Motivation - People may not use computers because they are not interested or they may not see any good reason to.

Some people have a fear of using computers. These people are called 'technophobes'. Their fear is usually due to poor ICT skills.