The digital divide refers to the eventual GAP between people with effective access to digital and information technology and those with very limited or no access at all. (Know More Here)

The reasoning was simple. According to the Digital Divide theory, anybody without access to digital & information technology won’t be able to scale up as well as someone with access to it and hence will not do well in life (in terms of his/her career). A graphic representation below:

This Digital Divide theory was proposed in the early 2000s. Back in those days, digital and information technology was costly – way beyond the reach of common man. It still is costly for an unfortunate few…but barring the real unfortunate, now-a-days most have access to the computers, mobiles and internet.

Due to this, I would understand that in a few years time, Digital Divide as a concept will be a thing of the past – when everyone will have access to everything, there will no question of a divide.
Will this result in a level playing field? Unfortunately not.

Here is what I propose will happen (or has already started happening!). A new concept called Search Divide has already kicked in. Mind you, this is my theory and like all of my theories this one also runs the risk of being shot down.

Defining Search Divide:

Considering everybody has equal opportunity and access to digital and information technology, the Search Divide is defined as the GAP between people who know how to and what to search and those that don’t.

Let us take a practical example. In an Internet start-up with ten employees, the CEO one day announces that the company needs to start advertising their online product on Google, and needs someone to volunteer as the campaign manager. Since, all of the ten employees have access to the same hardware & to the same means of information gathering one would assume all will be successful campaign managers on Google Adwords. Unfortunately, no. He who knows how to search for not just how to advertise on Google using Google Adwords but also knows how to search for finer tips of optimizing the campaign, and knows how to search for Google Adwords learnings of other successful campaigners will be successful.

Back in the good old days, the elders said…knowledge is good, but ability to apply knowledge is better. With knowledge being freely available via digital and information technology …I see this sentence getting challenged. I foresee that the ability to search for the right information will be a deciding factor in a person’s success or failure. What do you think?