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The ABCs of Effectiveness in The Digital Society

The ABCs of Effectiveness in the Digital Society, illustration

Credit: Andrij Borys Associates

The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by individuals is a long-time concern for researchers and practitioners. ICT use starts with the inclusion of people in the digital society and progresses toward the equalization of their capabilities and opportunities in technology-mediated information and communication processes. Approaches to inclusion and equality have become increasingly sophisticated through developments in human-centered computing and human-computer interaction that replace the old focus on people's mere access to the ICTs. At the same time, a third, more empowering moment of ICT use is attracting scholars, professionals and, hopefully, public agents—the effectiveness with which people use the technology. In this article, I discuss inclusion, equality and effectiveness under the concept of one's digital effectiveness.

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Key Insights


Digital effectiveness manifests in three dimensions—access, cognition, and behavior. It refers to one's use of ICTs for private or professional purposes according to an arbitrarily defined effectiveness criterion. The focal point of digital effectiveness is the individual ICT user and the levels of purposeful ICT use he or she achieves. That is, the focus is on the basic building block of the digital society—the embryo of a society's digital culture and digital health. Digital effectiveness describes an individual's use of ICTs in desirable ways, regardless of whether the individual masters the ICTs or not.


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