In China, out of necessity for survival, upwardly mobile rural citizens and females are closing gaps that supersede age, gender, types of communication used, cultural traditions, economics, and available education. It is essential to record the use of internet and cellular telephone usage in China at critical stages of development. This study employs both qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry to determine the demographics, descriptors and impacts of internet and cellular telephone use during electronic adoption and communication change. A series of 17 demographic, self-reported usage, and opinion research questions arose from the need to understand Chinese electronic usage from onset until saturation. A combination of free response in written and oral forms, observations of practice, interviews, and discussions provides qualitative data to answer these questions. Quantitative data is documented by percentage descriptors and respondent numbers. Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient was used to correlate significance among (1) the five internet usage indicators, (2) internet and cell usage, age and media choices, (3) internet and cell usage, and education level, (4) positive internet comments and email usage; and (6) complaints, time extensions, lack of sleep, inability to curtail use, negative work comments, and self-perceived freedom in using electronic communication.
The Chinese results have been compared and contrasted to three other developing countries: Pakistan, Oman and Thailand, for the same decade. Chinese are closing gaps, adapting to global parameters and standards, and communicating electronically. The diffusion, censorship, addiction/overuse, diversity, and social innovation of electronic communication are shown to be key indicators of the complexity of Chinese development. Cellular telephone and internet usage as reported by Chinese aid in understanding electronic usage, and from a distinctive Asian viewpoint. What is happening quite rapidly in China with electronic communication cannot be ignored as a social force, or a predictor of future communication patterns.
|Keywords:||China, Internet, Electronic Communication, Cellular Telephone, Diffusion, Censorship, Addiction, Usage, Social Innovation|
Associate Professor, Communication Studies, Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS, USA