Digital Equity is an elusive Civil Right even today, thus it is a major issue that can be put to the debate. People believe that technology should provide everyone opportunities for growth. However, the reality is that although we might thrust Digital Technology onto the entire population of a country, the fact remains that a large number are still Digital Technology Illiterate! Some don't even have access to Technology. It is clear that Digital Equity is a major issue that divides the society into the haves and the have nots! Those who have access to Digital Technology might get the best jobs or even get admission to some of the best colleges without being really intelligent or even accomplished professionals, while those who really deserve to get that seat because of their abilities are left out just because they don't have that internet connection or even a smart phone!
It is an unfortunate reality that lack of Digital Equity and thereof the lack of opportunities for all have resulted in a society that is in a state of a divide. Take for example the tedious process of registering yourself for a seat in a college. Unless you are tech-savvy, it is going to be difficult for you to get yourself registered. A large number of students aspiring for a seat in a prestigious college in the capital cit might be left out for the specific reason that they don't have a good internet supply in the countryside, or perhaps their internet device is not capable of handling the pages on the college website. A few students might outsource the filling in of their college forms to the Guy running the Neighbourhood Cybercafe, in many cases for an exorbitant amount! Where then, is Digital Equity?
A large number of people living in the country are the elderly, those who have somehow managed to handle cell phones that have a keypad, they might have tried a smartphone but are nervous about using the touchscreen. With the Government insisting on Digital Payments, the elderly are simply at a loss about going ahead with the same. The fact of the matter is that Technology has become for some, a monster that refuses to let go!
Most of the jobs today require some kind of basic skills in handling computers. Some people can't imagine that there are a lot of people in this world who are simply not computer literate. Would you expect a Janitor to be able to fill in an excel sheet or even share his schedule on a Google sheet?
So then, can we in any way claim that Digital Equity exists in our world today? Can we claim that everyone on this planet has access to electricity, technology and an internet connection that is reliable? In a world that reels under shortages of power, water, basic resources, can we turn a blind eye towards those who don't have access to digital technology and expect them to compete with those who have access to the same? How much does being Tech Savvy make you a better person than one who is not? Has technology helped you improve your scores in a test? Has it made your handwriting better? Does being Tech Savvy give you the right to the coveted seat in a world that is unfair in the opportunities it gives to all its citizens?
It all boils down to the dichotomy between Intellect and Tech. Savviness. Being being Tech. Savvy does not necessarily make you an intellectual, in the same way, that being an intellectual simply does not make you Tech. Savvy!
What is badly wrong our understanding about Digital Technolgy is that we have a seriously flawed idea that access to Digital Technology and being Tech.Savvy give the right to be better than others! The fact is that Digital Equity is still a distant reality, and at the most a misnomer, all illusion that we are deluding ourselves with!