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Society and the InternetHow Networks of Information and Communication are Changing Our Lives$
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Mark Graham and William H. Dutton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198843498

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843498.001.0001

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Internet Skills and Why They Matter

Internet Skills and Why They Matter

(p.109) 6 Internet Skills and Why They Matter
Society and the Internet

Eszter Hargittai

Marina Micheli

Oxford University Press

Given that the Internet is now ubiquitous in high-income nations, do Internet skills still matter? The authors of this chapter synthesize a body of research that shows how Internet skills, defined across ten dimensions, remain critical, especially as the technology becomes ever more significant and embedded into everyday life. Having the requisite skills to use the Internet and related social media is essential to avoid being excluded from key facets of society. This chapter demonstrates the need to build the study of skills into digital inequality scholarship that seeks to address concerns over online experiences tending to follow and reinforce socioeconomic inequalities. Complementing research by Quan-Haase, Zhang, Wellman, and Wang (Chapter 5, this volume), this chapter challenges stereotypes of young people being tech-savvy, showing that youth are not universally knowledgeable about digital tools and media.

Keywords:   Internet skill, digital divide, digital inequality, algorithmic skill, credibility assessment, privacy, security, information overload

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