Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Number Matters: The Multimodality of Internet Use as an Indicator of the Digital Inequalities

an article by Lu Wei (College of Media and International Culture Zhejiang University) published in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication Volume 17 Issue 3 (April 2012)


This study explores the multi-modality of internet use as a critical indicator of digital inequalities. Rather than relying on traditional measures of user/non-user and information/entertainment uses, this study focuses on a broad scope of online activities and investigates them collectively.

Results show that the more modes of internet activities people are engaged in, the more advanced uses they will add to their online behaviours.

Female, older, poorer, and less educated only use the internet for very limited basic applications, which are associated with fewer political communication and participation. While previous research concludes that the type of internet activities matters, this study suggests that it is the number of types that matters in examining potential inequalities and their social consequences.

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