Association between Human Offline and Online Mobility
2021-11-10 16:09:00
The Internet unrestricted the physical limitations of human trajectories and liberates individuals’ mobility in a broader virtual world. However, the relationship between a person’s offline and online mobility remains unclear. To fill the knowledge gap, using a random sample of telecom users in Shanghai, a metropolitan in China, we analyzed the association of individuals’ online-and-offline mobility at an hourly level for a three-month time span. The results indicate a compensatory relationship of a person’s mobility between offline and online: a person who limited offline trajectory in fewer types of point-of-interests (POI) browsed more widely online, and vice versa. Moreover, this effect is influenced by citizens' economic and social status: the compensatory effect is stronger for citizens who live in high house-price areas, are older, and have fewer offline phone calls. These results imply that the extent to which citizens utilize the Internet may still be rooted in their physical, economic and social status, despite its popularity. Follow-up studies should pay attention to the digital divide that emerges on the Internet due to offline differences.