• Digital Divide 3.0: The Mobile Revolution, Smartphone Use, and the Emerging Device Gap

      Rains, Stephen; Tsetsi, Eric Lawrence; Harwood, Jake; Kenski, Kate (The University of Arizona., 2016)
      Digital divide research has recently begun to address the functional gaps between Internet-connected technologies, specifically mobile and wired devices. This study uses nationally representative survey data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project to address this area of research and explores how smartphone-dependence compared to multi-modal access impacts Internet use among key demographic groups including race, sex, age, income, and education. This study also explores how demographic characteristics and smartphone use interact to affect reliance on smartphones and perceptions of the utility of mobile devices. Results show that race, sex, age, income, and education, exhibit different rates of smartphone-dependence, and also perform different online activities with their smartphones. Minorities and younger users are more likely to be smartphone-dependent and multi-modal users suggesting that these demographic groups are adopting mobile Internet technologies faster than Whites and older individuals. Minorities also use smartphones for more news and information activities than Whites, which contradicts traditional usage gap predictions.