Digital Divide in Internet Addiction?

Internet adiction

The digital divide in this post refers to the disparity in Internet access between developed and developing countries. In a recent published study they explored Internet addiction among university students in China and the United States to develop a better understanding of Internet addiction in a cross-national setting. Three hundred fourteen respondents were evaluated on 10 Internet addiction symptoms and five Internet addiction dimensions. And the conclusion was:

We conclude that Internet addiction may result as an artifact of the stage of Internet adoption within a society.

More information on the non existent diagnosis of Internet addiction can be found on this blog in Internet Addiction Research Disappointing

The digital divide has many derivatives and meaning. There is a generational digital divide since elderly people use social networking and user generated content on the Internet strikingly less than younger people, this indicates a gap between digitally literate users and the elderly.

Researchers also found evidence for a social capital divide on My Space based on age. They did a study of user profiles among teenagers and older users of MySpace. MySpace is one of many online social networking site, but one of the largest. You can find the the age differences in online social networking between teenagers and older users of MySpace:

The digital divide also exists among different races as far as discussing internet health information. Among all Internet users, Whites had higher levels of discussing Internet health information with a health care provider about Internet health information than Blacks and Asians, moreover this is the same for the Internet users who are immigrants.

ResearchBlogging.org
Lixuan Zhang, Clinton Amos, William C. McDowell (2008). A Comparative Study of Internet Addiction between the United States and China CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11 (6), 727-729 DOI: 10.1089/cpb.2008.0026