Friday, November 5, 2010

Comfort with Technology

Playing with technological toys to learn stuff apparently helps people become more engaged in public life, according to a new study, but one's comfort with technology makes all the difference.  Or as the report states:
Notably, individuals who report higher levels of comfort with mobile telephony and use it for information exchange tend to be more civically and politically engaged than those who report less comfort with the technology. 

Never mind the creative spelling of "civically" above (I can't think of another way to spell it, so I'd do what I always do when challenged like this -- write around the problem).  The point is, competence matters.  As the Journal of Communication research article uses a multiple regression to control for factors often associated with civic engagement.  The ultimate point?  Mobile media matter, but those mostly for those comfortable with the technology, which raises the question of a competence-based digital divide.

abstract | full study

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