The young and techless? Investigating internet use and problem-solving behaviors of young adults in Singapore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article critically examines the technologically-savvy image of young adults by investigating the digital divide issues underlying youth internet use, including their daily computer and internet problem-solving behaviors. The study draws on data from a web-based questionnaire and face-to-face interviews with young adults in Singapore, a country where internet adoption is pervasive. Contrary to popular conceptualizations of youths as a cohort of technically-savvy experts, the findings showed considerable variance in their internet expertise and problem-solving behaviors, with some demonstrating limited knowledge of internet use and awareness of troubleshooting strategies. The analyses also showed that internet skills and self-efficacy in internet-related problem-solving behaviors were significantly related to the internet practices of young adults. The findings suggest that in wired contexts, variations in post-adoption patterns may reflect more accurately the extent and presence of social stratification, extending the meaning and scope of the digital divide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-791
Number of pages21
JournalNew Media and Society
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008

Keywords

  • Digital divide
  • Internet use
  • Problem-solving behaviors
  • Singapore
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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