Digital divide accelerated by Covid pandemic
Ireland’s older and poorer populations risk being left behind unless action is taken to address the nation’s digital divide, according to a new report.
The 2022 Accenture Digital Index has found that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an acceleration of the digital divide – the gap between the digitally engaged and disengaged.
“The pandemic and its associated lockdowns have accelerated the adoption of almost every kind of online service,” said Alastair Blair, country managing director at Accenture in Ireland
“There are clear indicators that people generally have become more digitally engaged over the past two years,” Mr Blair said.
“However, there are cohorts of the population not benefiting from, or engaging with, digital society at work or in their everyday lives,” he added.
The Accenture Digital Index shows that 68% of Irish citizens have increased their internet usage, with video calls, online shopping and social media driving greater engagement.
But the study also reveals that age and socioeconomic barriers still exist, particularly when it comes to more advanced digital skills.
Digital fatigue and fears have also crept in with 45% of people actively trying to reduce the amount of technology they use each day.
As soon as they finish work, 20% of people say they try to get away from technology.