_________________________________________________________________ VOLUME 6, ISSUE 1 PSYCHNEWS INTERNATIONAL May 2001 _________________________________________________________________ SECTION B: EDITORIAL THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AND THE NON-DIGITAL UNDIVIDE Sunkyo Kwon, Ph.D. The expression "Digital Divide" has outgrown its catchphrase status -- it has become official terminology. There are even government websites internationally using the expression, not just for meeting mottos or press releases: I know of at least one instance where a government has built a site with the term "digitaldivide" contained in the URL (the website address that one enters into the web browser). However, a phenomenon that has existed for much, much longer is the "Non-Digital Undivide". Simply speaking, it refers to the elimination of social inequality; it is virtually common knowledge that social gradients account for physical and mental health inequalities and adverse outcomes for the lower socio-economic strata, although despite decades of research, not all of the underlying mechanisms are yet fully understood. The rationales for this predicament has been linked to unequal access to material and immaterial adaptive resources by way of prestige, income, and formal knowledge or education. Other factors include environmental trauma and exposure, sex and age. A multitude of scientific disciplines has devoted its research to this topic and its subtopics and an end is not in sight. If we ponder about the psychology of the Digital-Divide popularization, it could be suspected that it is nourished by a me- too/us-too attitude. For instance, differential access to technological resources analogous to the Digital Divide have been formulated by movements such as "universal design", "design for all" and "universal design" and these and other branches are working hard at solutions for accomodating special subpopulations, particularly the disabled, handicapped, and frail elderly. A consequence of this kind of thinking would be to set priorities, and rather than providing individuals, groups, cultures, and nations with equal access to modern information and communication technology (ICT), it may seem rational to furnish equal access to health services first. This must not be the case. Much rather, unequal access to ICT is a facet of the overall picture. Social inequality with all its repercussions constitutes a second-order umbrella phenomenon: Baseline phenomena include (but are not limited to) access to health, access to public places, access to transportation, access to other people, access to cultural assets and so forth. This is not an issue of setting priorities, ITC is with us in the present just as other resources that have to be made accessible. So, we should not think in terms of bridging Digital Divides or Non-Digital Undivides, but the problem should be conceived as truly bridging ALL divides in a universal way.