For better and for worse: A panel survey of how mobile-only and hybrid Internet use affects digital skills over time

Teresa Correa*, Sebastián Valenzuela, Isabel Pavez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Public policies across the world are tackling Internet access inequality through mobile connections, which has led to an increase in mobile-only use. However, digital skills remain as a stumbling block to achieve digital inclusion. Using a two-wave panel survey on a representative sample conducted in Chile between 2018 and 2020, this study investigates how different mode of access (i.e. mobile-only vs mobile and computer) affects digital abilities over time. Results show significant differences in skills by mode of access. People who became hybrid users (mobile and computer) by wave 2 significantly gained skills while those who were hybrid and became mobile-only by wave 2 significantly lost abilities. People who did not change their type of access did not change their level of digital skills, despite the past of time and gained experience using the Internet. These conclusions show how mode of access may have a key effect on people’s digital inclusion.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Media and Society
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: We thank the support of the Chilean National Agency of Research and Development (ANID) grants Fondecyt 1170324, Fondecyt 1210740, Fondecyt 11200039 and Millennium Science Initiative Program ICN 17_002.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

Keywords

  • Access device
  • Chile
  • digital inequality
  • mobile-only
  • panel data
  • skills

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