Framework The digital divide phenomena described by Peter and Valkenburg (2006:297) states that the “adolescent’s use of the internet for (2006:297) ‐ states that the adolescent s use of the internet, for example, will depend on their socio‐economic, cognitive, and cultural resources”… Rojas et al. (2010:4‐5) state that to understand an individual’s disposition toward a technology a number of “combinations of notably, interrelated factors or characteristics should be analyzed – notably economic capital, cultural capital, linguistic capital, ethnicity, age and gender”. The authors also affirm that an individual’s relationship with technology involves indicators as social practices, perceptions and attitudes, technical education, awareness of technology, desire for information, job requirements, social relations, community interactions, and geographic location.
Framework Livingstone (2007:4) reminds us that “technological innovation requires a recurrent investment of money, time and effort on the part of the general public and, in this process, social stratification continues to matter”. Geser ( G (2004:6) considers the mobile phone as capable of bridging 6) id h bil h bl f b id i some gaps between different social classes, once they are adopted irrespective of education and family background. On the other hand…“Mobile phones may still accentuate social inequalities insofar as their factual usage patterns are tightly correlated with the various purposes of social actions, as well as with correlated with the various purposes of social actions as well as with different situations, social relationships and social roles” (Geser, 2004:6). The mobile phone is at the heart of the daily interactions of a family because it allows members to contact one another at any time (Caron 7 ) and Caronia 2007:60).
Sample p 130 people (65 families) were interviewed; 13 families were selected according to the age of the younger member interviewed, from 15 to 18 years old. The younger members were six boys and seven girls, all of them students. The group of adults is formed for 13 parents, 12 of them from 37 to 49 years old and one mother that is 28 years old. Among these parents five have University and one mother that is 28 years old Among these parents five have University degree, three have high school level completed and one incomplete and four have 9 years or less of schooling. Questions:. What are the uses young people and adults‐ children and parents‐ What are the uses young people and adults children and parents make of their mobile phones? Do these uses diverge? How? Does “cost” have any influences in the uses parents and children make of their mobile phones? Does the educational level of parents have any influence in the uses of mobile phones?
Family members and their uses y The incorporation of the mobile phones is really intense among these young people, more than among their parents. The mobile phone seems to be one of the first in the list. “I have the mobile phone always at hand….” (18, female, assiduous internet user). user) Also parents’ discourses give us an idea of how incorporated in their daily routines the mobile phones are: what the mobile phone means for them and how they handle this technology. For example: “I am a disaster with the mobile phone, it’s always turned off (laugh). When people want to call me they can t because I always have that turned off… (41, people want to call me they can’t because I always have that turned off ”(41 male, assiduous internet user). “Today I’ve lost one mobile phone…I have three, but today I’ve lost hers (the younger daughter’s 10 years old)”(37, female, never uses the internet). Some young people mentioned the dependence of the mobile phone, as a real need to be with the device all the time to feel connected with friends, sending SMS and calling.
USES Young people AdultsCalls Make calls and send/receive a lot of Adults prefer to make calls which SMS daily. Being in touch with remind the use of the fixed telephone.SMS (text friends and also with family is Only few parents know how to messagin something really relevant. i thi ll l t send/read text messages. They don’t d d h dg) like it and prefer calling.Music The majority states listening a lot of Only one mother affirmed listening to music through their mobile phones. music. Cameras Something common and many of Some of them show some interest in them mentioned using the cameras cameras and taking photographs. of their mobile phone frequently. Although some say it’s rare to take pictures it’s still more common for them to take pictures than sending SMS.Internet Only two mentioned using the Only one mother had tried before, but internet on their mobile phone considered the service expensive and sometimes. Others, although stopped using it. having the possibility of doing it do not use it because of the t it b f th price/costs.
Young people “I use the mobile phone to talk to my family or to communicate with friends h bil h lk f il i i hf i d through text messages.” (17, female, sometimes uses the internet) “When I go somewhere, I take a picture to keep as a memory. I also take pictures When I go somewhere, I take a picture to keep as a memory. I also take pictures of my family…” (17, female, sometimes uses the internet). (Does your mobile phone have internet?) “Yes, but I don’t use it… it spends a lot…it’s expensive.” (15, male, assiduous internet user) Mothers “Because as I’m telling you I don’t have much empathy with the machines I Because, as I m telling you, I don t have much empathy with the machines... I prefer to talk and listen to people. Sometimes people send SMS, but I am not accustomed to going there and reading it”(46, female, sometimes uses the internet). “It has so many things! It has a camera, internet, radio, MP3, it makes video calls, other stuff…it s a 3G… … I use it for everything! (39, female, rarely uses the other stuff…it’s a 3G…”…”I use it for everything!”(39, female, rarely uses the internet). “I once used it for a month, but I used just a little, because I thought I was paying too much for a service I used so little.” (47, female, assiduous internet user, about using internet).
Simple use vs. great potential The majority of interviewees was just interested in being able to keep contact with the family and with the outside world. Some adolescents showed a really simple use, either because their device is too simple and does not allow any other activities (like having no camera) and this restricts the use these people make, or also because they were simply not interested in doing special things with b h i l i di d i i l hi ih it: “…It s a basic phone, one of those cheap ones that I only have to send It’s a basic phone one of those cheap ones that I only have to send messages and make calls. Just it, nothing else.” (15, female, sometimes uses the internet). “My mobile phone has a camera, voice recorder, MP3, two SIM cards. Basically, what do I do with it? I receive and make calls and nothing else. Ah, and sometimes I take some pictures. Thus, although it is really sophisticated it is just used to receive and make calls nothing else” (42 sophisticated it is just used to receive and make calls, nothing else (42, female, assiduous internet user).
Some final remarks Economic capital matters in the way these families use their devices but cultural capital also plays a fundamental role. Some young people make really simple use of their devices: the purpose of contact, followed by entertainment, the way their family handle with new technologies or even a taste/personal question of g /p q relevance, once these young people may have other interests that they consider more important at the moment and only use the technologies to get to them. to get to them When trying to understand why (some) young people have a wider exploration of some of the applications we have to take into consideration their peer relationships. d h l i hi Young people are generally the ones who master and try to convey this techno knowledge at home, which can be received or not, this techno‐knowledge at home, which can be received or not, according to the disposition of the members of the family.
On the other hand, the older members in general do not conceive the mobile phones as a means of entertainment and are attached to the device as a phone itself (age matters, but not only).. Others, though really in low number, have begun to broaden this view and accept the phone as a device that goes beyond making and receiving calls. The incorporation by young people is much more prominent, since they make references of being with the mobile phone all the time, communicating with friends or avoiding boredom. Some parents even try to make it clear that they avoid letting the mobile phone become more incorporated by not using them or turning them off as soon as they get home. Through this sample we can observe that there was no relation of the parents’ use of mobile phones with their educational level. Parents’ knowledge about handling the device affects the way children communicate with them (the majority can only call their parents). Most of these family members are completely apart of a convergent use since they present a poor or none relationship/exchange with other media technologies, especially internet, with only few exceptions.