Despite Trendy Technologies, Mpls. Shows Digital Divide

Updated: 05/16/2014 4:45 PM
Created: 05/16/2014 11:24 AM
By: Megan Stewart

Despite advanced smartphone innovation, some Minneapolis residents are experiencing a digital divide, according to a city study.

The study of technology access also found this divide limits opportunities for people who do not have access.

One of the main components the study, "2014 Community Technology Survey," found was while the overall ownership of cellphones in the city increased from 66 percent to 79 percent in 2014, the technology is not distributed evenly.

The study found 11 percent in the Near North neighborhood and 10 percent of residents in the Phillips neighborhood are without cellphones, compared to half of that in Calhoun Isles and 4 percent in the Powderhorn and University neighborhoods.

Moreover, 33 percent of people in the Phillips Neighborhood either aren't comfortable with using a smartphone or don't know how to at all.

Smartphones and Internet access can be essential for those looking for jobs. Its role in communications between family members and career networking has also grown to a pivotal role.

Access to technology at an early age is becoming more important as schools are incorporating the use of digital at early stages. Those who do not have continued access at home may fall behind.

The city is hosting community forums to discuss this digital divide and ways to close the gap. There are also volunteer opportunities for residents comfortable in using mobile and Internet technology to share their skills with others.

Community public input dates are:

  • Thursday, May 29: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the East Phillips Park-Cultural and Community Center
  • Tuesday, June 17: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the North Regional Library

For volunteer opportunities, contact 612-763-2492.

Photo: AP/Lee Jin-man

Minneapolis/St. Paul

48° | 35°
  • Feels like: 27° F
  • Wind: WNW 20mph
  • Humidity: 81%
  • Tue Windy, and mainly cloudy
    45° | 32°
  • Wed Mix of sun and clouds
    48° | 30°
  • Thu A few clouds
    52° | 34°
  • Fri Partly cloudy
    56° | 38°