Fertility is the driving force of population development, while the problem of low fertility has become a new worldwide problem. In the specific context of China, economic and social development dimensions must be taken into account when analyzing the phenomenon of low fertility rate and discussing individual fertility strategies. With the progress of information and communication technology, the Internet is increasingly prominent in its impact on individual reproductive decision-making. We need to pay more attention to the impact of the Internet usage on individual fertility intention. In this context, the comprehensive survey data of Chinese General Social Survey（
The results show that the higher the frequency of the Internet usage is, the lower the fertility intention of individuals will be. Further research finds that reproductive experience has a negative moderating effect on the impact of the Internet usage on individual fertility intention. For individuals who have already had children, the higher the frequency of the Internet usage is, the more significant the inhibition effect of fertility intention will be. The intergenerational “digital divide” also has a significant negative moderating effect on the impact of the Internet usage on individual fertility intention. When there is a large intergenerational “digital divide” between two generations, for individuals who use the Internet frequently, the conflict between the traditional parenting experience inherited by the parents and the parenting knowledge obtained by the children through the Internet may lead to more family conflicts, thus inhibiting the fertility intention of individuals. On the contrary, when the “digital divide” between generations is small, the inhibition effect of the Internet usage frequency on individual fertility intention also weakens.
The main contributions of this paper are as follows: First, from the perspectives of information cost and family intergeneration, the Internet usage is introduced into the research framework of fertility intention to conduct empirical analysis, which expands the related research field. Second, the Internet usage and individual fertility are embedded in a specific context in China to clarify the moderating effect of intergenerational “digital divide” and reproductive experience on the impact of the Internet usage on individual fertility intention, and to provide useful empirical support for exploring solutions to the plight of low fertility.