Almost all Swedes today have access to the Internet, if not through the home then via the library or work. Despite this, around 20% of the population stand outside the information society in that they lack in knowledge, assistive usability tools or positive attitude towards technology and its influence on society. The main factors influencing the digital divide in today's society are age, disability and education, while the main reason for staying outside seems to be disinterest.
The question about digital inclusion is important as we now stand on the breaking-point between a society where the industry has had a prominent position for private as well as national economy and a digital society where access to the Internet is no longer about prestige, but where significant differences between users' knowledge levels can create a power gap. Gaps in access and use not only reflects already existing socio-economic conditions, but can also maintain and enhance these.
It is crucial for the future expansion of Internet usage how today's non-users feel about becoming users. To understand what underlies the motivations not to use computers is one of the keys to get non-users to embrace becoming users. Bridging the digital divide is not simply about enabling access or knowledge, or convincing and inspiring people to digital participation. It is also important to provide an understanding of how and why technology has such a big part of society.
To create an inclusive society on all levels and to keep the position as a leading IT-nation, Sweden has to focus on combining accessibility with a focus on creating knowledge through reliance on technology and to understand contemporary disconnected groups different needs and see them as potential users.
2010. , 13 p.