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How social well-being is affected by digital inequalities


Büchi, Moritz; Festic, Noemi; Latzer, Michael (2018). How social well-being is affected by digital inequalities. International Journal of Communication:3686-3706.

Abstract

Digital inequalities have real consequences for individuals’ everyday lives—this basic assumption drives digital inequality research. Recent efforts have focused on tangible benefits of online engagement, yet subjective quality of life measures also matter as Internet outcomes. This article contributes to closing this gap. First, it theoretically introduces subjective social well-being—the appraisal of one’s functioning in society—as a consequence of digital participation, potential, and perception differences. Second, it tests the dependence of social well-being on these three dimensions using structural equation modeling with nationally representative survey data. Results reveal that the perception of digital belongingness directly increases social well-being, and Internet skills as digital potential do so indirectly. The net effect of digital participation is insignificant. These findings lead to recommendations for policies targeting digital inequalities and future research directions.

Abstract

Digital inequalities have real consequences for individuals’ everyday lives—this basic assumption drives digital inequality research. Recent efforts have focused on tangible benefits of online engagement, yet subjective quality of life measures also matter as Internet outcomes. This article contributes to closing this gap. First, it theoretically introduces subjective social well-being—the appraisal of one’s functioning in society—as a consequence of digital participation, potential, and perception differences. Second, it tests the dependence of social well-being on these three dimensions using structural equation modeling with nationally representative survey data. Results reveal that the perception of digital belongingness directly increases social well-being, and Internet skills as digital potential do so indirectly. The net effect of digital participation is insignificant. These findings lead to recommendations for policies targeting digital inequalities and future research directions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:Digital inequality, digital divide, Internet use, skills, well-being, information society, Internet outcomes, social inequality
Language:English
Date:18 May 2018
Deposited On:25 Feb 2019 11:03
Last Modified:25 Feb 2019 11:58
Publisher:University of Southern California
ISSN:1932-8036
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/1932–8036/20180005

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