The Gap Between Technology Access and Efficient Use in Rural Communities of Less Developed Nations



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This research aims to investigate the gap between access and efficient use of communication technology in less developed rural communities, with a particular focus on rural Indian communities. Economic processes, infrastructure, behavioral and social factors influencing efficient technology adoption in low-income, low-resource, and information constrained communities are explored to identify strategies to overcome these barriers. The potential for media related technologies to uplift rural communities is analyzed, including the emergence of mobile phones as a primary form of media communication infrastructure. The research compares digitization plans and initiatives by less developed country governments to expose limited effort to enhance media exposure and media literacy within rural communities. Common factors that affect the efficient use of technology are lack of investment in local telecommunications infrastructure, lack of diffusion of devices for accessing information, improvement in literacy rates, exposure to a wider range of social norms, and willingness to learn new work and life strategies. Through qualitative data collected from a survey of residents in the Amravati district of Maharashtra, India, and case studies from other developing nations, this research shows the significant impact digitized social and information technology can have on rural communities' quality of life, poverty alleviation, enhanced self-employment, including farming, reduced unemployment for those seeking jobs, and development of other social sectors with critical media literacy. The study emphasizes the need for media literacy and related technological infrastructure to support rural communities ability to innovate and protect these communities from potential adverse impacts of social media misinformation and to encourage increased awareness of and participation in telecommunications and media-related policy-making processes. It should be a major policy goal to improve rural citizens’ participation in these policy-making processes.


Film, Media, Theater department


technology, media literacy, rural communities, developing nations, infrastructure, digitization, critical media literacy, media