Volume 71, Issue 2 (2015), pp. 79–96
In most cases the internet has a positive effect on its users – it offers unrestrained communication, expression of opinions and sense of openness. On the other hand, excessive usage leads to internet addiction. The most important features of the internet include rapid spread of information and news, access to tremendous amount of information, personalization and anonymity. After the literature review of theoretical research of authors from Lithuania and abroad, and application of theoretical analytical, resumptive, analogical, deductive and comparative methods, the features of XXI century media literacy were identified. A questionnaire allowed to examine the internet’s specifics and nature of users’ media literacy online. Empirical research was conducted to analyse the internet users’ behavior based on age groups as well as to identify their level of literacy. A big part of today’s daily activity and free time is related to usage of the internet media. Many services take an online form. Therefore, the issue of Lithuanian users’ online behavior becomes a concurrent to the development of welfare society, and media literacy gets to be one of the necessities for future skills. Instead of searching for and passively using the given information, internet users start to make their own, evaluate it and spread further. The users are enabled to fashion their private social networks, they become responsible for organization of the whole personal communication infrastructure. This research points out the main reasons of Lithuanian internet users not using e-services: the lack of media literacy and insufficient spread of the service-related information. The biggest difference in literacy among age groups was noticed while evaluating personal predisposition to internet addiction. Levels of literacy based on age groups were significantly different in terms of ability to critically evaluate online information.