Using the internet, sending emails and googling information are skills so innate to the digitally fluent that they don’t realise they have them and don’t know that most South Africans lack them. And those excluded from digital citizenship are not aware of the benefits it could bring.
The world has been connected to the internet for years. We are now digitally fluent and take these skills and tools for granted. We also assume almost everyone we interact with is digitally fluent. However, only a small minority of the South African population has been exposed to technology and its many wonderful benefits. We as “privileged” citizens are blind to this, while many people are blind to the power of the internet and how to use it.
How do we tackle this digital blind spot?
Opportunities to learn about digital at grassroots level need to be accessible to the majority on a massive scale. These opportunities need to be fun and easy to do, and designed for people who do not have computers at home and with limited educational experience. The government, industry and training organisations should review how they approach the issue of digital exclusion and reach out to the “unseen”…