Will technology increase social divide?

19 September 2013

Question

Could rapid advancements with technology led to higher levels of social inequality?

Answer

We close the show with Tamara Roukaerts, marketing tech expert from TRM&C who answers a question that listener Peter Macree got in touch with: Could rapid advancements with technology lead to higher levels of social inequality? Tamara - Well certainly, a lot of technology does confer an efficiency advantage on people who use it. So, if you have a Smartphone, there potentially is an advantage over someone who has a feature phone. If you use the internet, you potentially have an economic advantage over somebody who does not use the internet. These kinds of disparities in access to technology do have socio-economic implications. They can sometimes even serve to increase the divide. I think that's why it's so important to bear that in mind when new technologies come on stream, so that fewer people get left behind. It's really easy to glance over the fact that over 20% of the UK population have yet to go online. That's more than 10 million people and 16 million lack basic internet skills, like being able to send an email or browsing the internet. Potentially, that would be like a social or an economic handicap. You might find it extremely difficult to get a job. Over 90% of jobs these days actually have some ICT component to them.

Hannah - Thanks to Tamara Roukaerts.

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