The digital divide in our society represents a gap between people who have enough finance and enough knowledge in order to use the possibilities of digital devices such as cell phones, exchange of information and networking. The aim of this essay is to explore the impact of new technologies on different social groups and to analyze whether new technologies deepen or reduce the digital divide.
For my analysis I have chosen the technologies of wireless networking that are integrated in many cell phones and smart phones, the main of them being WiFi, WiMAX and Bluetooth. These technologies, especially WiFi and WiMAX, enable the phone to establish connection with internet access points and other devices with appropriate wireless technology. The impact of this technology of different social groups is ambiguous. Wireless technologies and their implementation in cell phones mostly influence social groups judging by economical criteria.
On one hand, such technologies allow those who cannot have proper Internet access, to connect to the world side web and create local networks. Thus, those who could not afford a PC, or could not on some reasons have cable or ADSL internet access, may still gain access in such a way. Therefore, middle-earning class, the most successful representatives of low-earning workers and those who live far from big cities and do not have possibilities for easy internet access, receive the same possibilities as social groups of high-earning people and those who live in large cities.
On the other hand, wireless technologies are usually integrated into smart phones and at least medium-class cell phones. Therefore, people who can only afford low-class and used cell phones, are unlikely to have access to wireless technology features. Hence, the digital divide between low-earning people, those who live in poverty and other social groups is only deepened by introduction of wireless communications. However, in my opinion, in several years most cell phones will have integrated support of wireless technologies, and these technologies will help to bring the social groups closer and reduce the impact of digital divide.