n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - Communication technology and development : can South Africa afford the information explosion? : information and communication technology




We are living in a world where the availability of information can make you, or the lack of it can break you. The 'information explosion', as it is sometimes called, has already changed our lives. How this affects us, and changes our environment, our economy and our lives is a fascinating issue. But does it affect everyone? Is there a possibility that some communities can be left in the dark without the availability of these masses of information? <br>In South Africa some major changes are taking place at the moment. It could be argued that while South Africa tries to erase the remains of apartheid and rebuild the country, the rest of the world has 'quietly' moved into the information age. A development problem in South Africa concerns the disparities among the different communities. There is still a significant difference between the information-rich, a small minority, and the information-poor, the majority of the population. <br>This article first describes the situation in South Africa with regard to Internet availability and accessibility and secondly gives a broad overview of the theoretical assumptions underlying computer-mediated communication from a communication sciences perspective. In conclusion, specific questions on the topic for future research in communication sciences are proposed in general and applied to conditions in South Africa as a developing country.


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