What is the digital divide?

A lot of us take technology for granted. In today’s society we are very reliant on laptops, phones, tablets etc, however not everyone has access to this.

The digital divide is the gap between those who have access to technology and those who don’t.

It is a worldwide problem, with roughly 3.7 billion people not having access to the internet globally and 1.3 billion children not having internet access at home. This became a huge problem during the covid-19 pandemic. 

Even though technology is such a big part of life, in the UK, a staggering amount of 4.8 million people have no basic digital skills and roughly 9% of families in the UK do not have access to a computer at home. Those without technology have a socio-economic disadvantage.

Causes of the digital divide

The main causes for the digital divide are;

  • Not having the money to afford the technology.
  • Being in a location where network coverage is poor, such as in rural areas, can use the internet to be slow or unusable.
  • A lack of IT skills therefore not knowing how to use a computer.

Effects of the digital divide

Technology has such an important part in life and without it life would become a lot harder. We wouldn’t be able to use a computer to do tasks such as; sending and receiving emails, work from home, study and school work, video conferencing and much more.

Those who do not have access to technology face a lack of communication and risk of isolation due to being disconnected online with everyone else, this is similar to social isolation.

The digital divide also creates a barrier to studying. This has been prominent during lockdown which forced children to study from home.

Someone who lacks IT skills will find it harder to get a job, this is due to a lot of employers preferring to hire someone who has a knowledge of IT.

How is Green Machine helping to battle the digital divide?

The access to technology is crucial.

To decrease the digital divide one of the most obvious ways is to make technology and internet access more affordable and accessible to everyone.

A big part of what Green Machine does is donating laptops to charity. In 2020, Green Machine started a campaign called Tech Amnesty. The goal of this campaign was to donate as many laptops as possible to schools and charities to enable children to study from home during lockdown due to covid-19. The company has almost donated 500 laptops altogether since Tech Amnesty started. Green Machine has recently won ‘Flying the flag for Swindon and Wiltshire’ techies award for all their efforts in helping the community.

Green Machine Computers also sell refurbished computers that work just as good as a brand new one, but for a fraction of the price. The beginning price of their laptops are £230 where as you could expect to buy a brand new one with the same specs for double or even triple the price! There are also many positive environmental factors of buying refurbished over new. So not only would you be saving a lot of money, you’d also be helping the environment too!

Not only is Green Machine helping by donating and selling laptops, they are also helping by offering apprenticeships and training individuals in the IT field. So far they have helped 8 people complete an apprenticeship and increase their technical knowledge.

Green Machine have done other little bits towards helping the community too; on the company’s 10th birthday they donated 10 laptops to 10 schools and charities as a way to say thank you and give back to the community for their continued support.

They are also currently running a scheme where if you buy a laptop on their website, they will also donate a laptop to a school or charity. Their website can be found here: www.greenmachineit.co.uk/

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