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Living in a digital world means we have to know what it takes to survive it. In a world where our businesses, education and even relationships are digital, we have to learn how to increase our digital literacy by utilizing and learning digital skills. 

There is a lot of digitizing still left to do in this world, and in a few years, a lot of things would be changed. The pandemic already accelerated our shift from cards to e-wallets and online transactions, office work to remote work, manually doing the work to letting the technology doing it for us. 

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For years, many have been scared of this huge shift. Because it would mean a lot of our previously learned knowledge and skills may not be as important in a digital world. It would also mean some of the jobs are lost and new ones are starting to form. We had to do a lot of relearning unless we belong to the digital natives. When the entire world is already on the internet and doing their work from the internet, we have to learn how to optimize our work using our internet skills.  

But there are some major obstacles in the way that are widening the digital gap and dividing around the world. Having the internet does not mean we can learn all the skills and knowledge we need. Having the internet also does not mean people actually continue to use it. Did you know that more than ninety percent of the world has access to the internet, yet only a fraction of the percentage use it as frequently for their progression? Malaysians may have access to a quality  TM unifi package but their usage may be little to nothing. 

The underutilization is not only an issue of the poorer countries around the world. This is also the case for the majority of the population for people who are digitally literate countries. Well developed and first world countries have a significant number of people who avoid the internet because they don’t know how to use it. They feel like they are incompetent and tend to avoid it’s usage despite the fact they can afford it, and need it. 

To give people the confidence and the capacity to use the internet, we have to educate them. With proper education and awareness measures, the smaller is the digital divide in the population. It is so important to close the digital divide in the near future. The significance only grows as each day passes by. 

Without closing the digital divide, one part of the population is always going to be limited by their lack of internet skills in the job market. Their career opportunities will be restricted and the chance of progressing in a digitized world will become slim. This not only only affects their own income and livelihood but it also affects the whole country. If a significant portion of the population is working in lower paying jobs and in a poorer household,  it affects the economic growth of the country. 

For the sake of equal educational opportunities, career opportunities and economic growth, the world needs to come up with better approaches to closing the internet and digital divisions. 

Amir Jefri
Jerit Pekik Dot My