May 16, 2022

Video: Eszter Hargittai on “Digital Natives or Digital Naives? The Role of Skill in Internet Use” (CNI Plenary Presentation)

The other day we mentioned that a video recording of Cliff Lynch’s CNI 2013 Fall Membership Meeting plenary presentation was available online.

Today, a video recording of the other plenary session became available.

It’s a must-see talk by Eszter Hargittai from Northwestern University (embedded below). We’re longtime admirers of her work around here.

Here’s the abstract for her presentation:

The growing diffusion of information technologies influences people’s life chances and raises questions as to their  ability to appropriate digital media for their  empowerment. Does the spread of information technologies affect different population segments differently?  If so, which segments are most likely to benefit and which are most likely to be left behind?

Based on original data, the talk considers disparities in people’s Web use skills and how skills relate to what people do online. Those who know how to navigate the Web’s vast landscape can reap significant benefits from it. In contrast, those who lack online abilities may have a harder time dealing with certain logistics of everyday life, may miss out on opportunities and may also obtain incorrect information from unreliable sources or come to rely on unsubstantiated rumors.

Analyses suggest that skills are not randomly distributed among users; rather, they depend on demographic and socioeconomic factors as well as user context even when controlling for access differences.

You can learn more about Eszter Hargittai and take a look at many of her publications using the links below.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.