Problematic Uses of the Internet: Empirical Evidence of the Third-level Digital Divide in France (Usages problématiques d’Internet : un état des lieux de la fracture numérique de troisième niveau en France)

15 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021

See all articles by Joeffrey Drouard

Joeffrey Drouard

University of Rennes 1

Séverine Erhel

University of Rennes 2 - Department of Psychology

Florence Jacob

University of Nantes - LEMNA

Marianne Lumeau

University of Angers

Raphaël Suire

University of Nantes - IAE - Department of Business Administration

Date Written: May 6, 2021

Abstract

The public policy of support to digital uses is implicitly based on the reduction of first and second level digital divides. First by facilitating access (equipment and infrastructure) and then by worrying about usage or non-usage. Even if illiteracy remains important in France, education to uses is today a privileged axis by public authorities. We test the existence of a new digital divide, which we call the third level, and which concerns the problematic uses of the Internet observed on a representative sample of the French population in 2020. 10 to 14% of our sample is concerned and this reveals a strong entanglement between a user and the uses but also ambivalent effects on mental health, social and professional life. This third divide calls for a rethinking of public policy to ensure sober and moderate use and the development of a more virtuous digital economic model oriented towards "well-being by design".

Keywords: internet, mental health, digital divide, public policy

JEL Classification: o38, i14,

Suggested Citation

Drouard, Joeffrey and Erhel, Séverine and Jacob, Florence and Lumeau, Marianne and Suire, Raphael, Problematic Uses of the Internet: Empirical Evidence of the Third-level Digital Divide in France (Usages problématiques d’Internet : un état des lieux de la fracture numérique de troisième niveau en France) (May 6, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3957997 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3957997

Joeffrey Drouard

University of Rennes 1 ( email )

7 place Hoche
Rennes, 35065
France

Séverine Erhel

University of Rennes 2 - Department of Psychology ( email )

Florence Jacob

University of Nantes - LEMNA ( email )

Nantes, 44000
France

Marianne Lumeau

University of Angers ( email )

4 Boulevard Lavoisier
BP 13633
Angers, 49016
France

Raphael Suire (Contact Author)

University of Nantes - IAE - Department of Business Administration ( email )

Nantes, 44000
France

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