The Information Gap amongst the Generations and the Implications for Organizations

The Information Gap amongst the Generations and the Implications for Organizations

Angelina I. T. Kiser (University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX, USA) and Ronald Washington (University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/IJDLDC.2015040103
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Abstract

The ubiquitous nature of technology today fosters the perception that its use as a means of information sharing and gathering occurs equally across resources. There is however a digital divide which commonly refers to the socio-economic, ethnic, educational, and cultural inequality of access and use of digital technologies in society today. Less clear in the literature is as Digital natives and Immigrants age and enter the workforce, how their age will affect their use of technology as a social and information gathering resource (Herring, 2008). Will advances in mobile technologies and age extend the digital divide or will they continue to be technology zealous? Based on data analyzed from wave 6 of the World Values Survey (WVS) a significant difference exists between the generations in the use of different information sources used for information gathering and sharing as they age.
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The Digital Divide

The inequality of access and use of digital technologies has come to be known as the digital divide, and the phenomenon first began to be talked about back in the 1990s when personal computers became available (Strover, 2014). While technology such as the Internet has connected us worldwide, there is also the aspect of how technology has divided us (Hilbert, 2011). The digital divide has revealed more than the “haves” and “have nots”; it has become an indicator of how information and communication capacity are connected to models of access, usage, and impact of digital technologies (Hilbert, 2014). The mobile phone is considered the fastest-diffusing technology in history with many countries actually having their phone subscriptions exceeding their population (International Telecommunication Union, 2012).

With the onset of new technologies comes the ever present challenges the users and non-users face. Tsatsou (2011) proposed the concept of digital “divides” since there are numerous divides and not just one concept of “unequal access to technologies or digital exclusion at an international as well as a local level” (Cammaerts & Van Audenhove, 2003). The digital divide is an important idea to research and understand as it affects people’s abilities to communicate and have access to information that empowers them (Mansell, 2002).

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