London, May 5th – Over 10 million Brits lack basic digital skills to get online, preventing them from accessing education, digital healthcare, online banking and other essential day-to-day activities.
Digital Wellness Day, celebrated globally on the 5th of May 2023 and running for the 4th year in a row, aims to increase awareness to technology access and provide an opportunity to optimise individuals’ relationship with technology by prompting people to rethink when, where, why, and how they interact with tech.
However, not everyone has equal access to technology and digital skills as 10 million people in the UK still lack the most basic digital skills needed for everyday life.
We live in a technology fuelled era as research from the British Academy highlights that on average, UK adults currently spend four hours each day online, while 92 per cent of businesses state they require at least a basic level of digital skill from their employees.
As the cost-of-living rises, research shows that pricing can act as a key barrier to access as 3.3 million of the poorest households in the UK spend roughly four times more of their disposable income than the average income household.
Additionally, 36 per cent of those with no formal educational qualifications reported using the internet, compared to 95 per cent of people with higher educational qualifications.
The Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA), a charity initiative who aims to end digital poverty in the UK by 2030, plays a key role in allowing access for all through landmark papers such as their Evidence Review, as well as initiatives such as Tech4Teachers which saw laptops and training provided to teachers to enable them to better prepare students for the online world.
Elizabeth Anderson, Chief Operating Officer of the Digital Poverty Alliance, said: “It is great to see a day dedicated to increasing awareness around the relationship between individuals and technology, however, it is important to remember that every person’s experience is different and not everyone has access to technology in the same way as others. For those who have access, technology can provide fascinating benefits, from connecting with loved ones, to providing online services, to enhancing educational experiences, but for those who lack access, they miss out on these everyday essentials.”
“For many, the use of technology comes as second nature which makes it even more important to remember and support those who struggle to use it for various reasons, such as affordability or lack of skill. Millions of people across the UK miss out on the basic services access to technology can provide and this can have further negative implications on areas such as education, job searching and access to public services, to name a few.”
“While it is positive to celebrate and acknowledge our relationship with technology, it is vital for us to collectively do our bit to support those who are digitally excluded in order to create and more fair and just society and achieve the goal of ending digital poverty for all by 2030.”