With the wider penetration of information and communication technologies (ICTs), digital divide scholars have turned attention from physical access to the difference in usage. Based on a national representative survey conducted in mainland China (N = l,004), this exploratory study contributes to the literature by explicating a new typology of social media usage divides predicted by demographic factors and personality traits (the Big Five) and by adding the context of an authoritarian country. The results show that even controlling for personality traits, age shows strong negative effects on most usages. Males and educated populations are also savvier in some of the usages. Interestingly, “reverse divides” were found in mainstream informational use, indicating that the older generations and the lower-income groups use social media for getting information from mainstream media relatively more frequently. This paper also reveals significant predicting and interaction effects of individuals’ personality traits on some usage divides.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science