Summary ‘ Publish and filter’ Content is created and shared by users then… edited, re-appropriated, remediated, re-used and mashed-up by other users to create something new.
Summary This research investigates how three age groups of people use social media to create and share digital content and will examine their differing levels of digital literacy. Primary research question: How do three age groups of UK web users create and share content online?
Studies of Children and Young People Extreme Positive Don Tapscott argues that the internet has enabled the ‘net generation’ to, “enhanced their intelligence” (Tapscott, 2009:30). The so-called, digital generation Extreme Negative Neuroscientist Lady Susan Greenfield coined the term ‘mind change’ to describe the way she thinks, “IT culture is changing children’s brains” (MacLeod, 2006) and believes it threatens the “quality of our existence” (Sample, 2010). Cautious Nicholas Carr “ The internet lures us. Our brains become addicted to it. And we have to be aware of that, and not let it control us” (Carr, 2010).
Studies of Children and Young People <ul><li>Marc Prensky: “ digital natives” v “ digital immigrants” </li></ul>Generational polemicists <ul><li>Don Tapscott: “net generation/N-Geners” v “baby boomers/generation x” or - --- “television generation” </li></ul>Robin Fox calls this “ethnographic dazzle” where “difference overwhelms the equal fact of consistent central patterns”. www.csicop.org/si/show/human_nature_project David Buckingham: “ On average, members of the “net generation” in fact spend more of their time watching television than they do on the Internet; and of course there are many members of the “television generation” who spend much of their working and leisure time online” (Buckingham, 2008:14).
Generational Theory <ul><li>Is there a digital generation? </li></ul>Karl Mannheim’s generational theory “ Individuals who belong to the same generation…[ ]…are endowed, to that extent, with a common location in historical dimension of social process” (1952:290). He also believed that as the pace of social change accelerates, the boundaries between generations are likely to become blurred. McKenzie Wark “ Generations are not defined by war or depression anymore. They are defined by media culture” (1993:73). Pierre Bourdieu “ It is quite possible for the culture and politics developed within a particular generational cohort to become attractive to groups that do not, in a chronological sense, belong to that generation…[ ]…Nor does a chronological understanding of generation shed light on how a generational consciousness produced in one era can continue to operate in another” (1993:116).
Generational Theory <ul><li>Is there a digital generation? </li></ul>“ The notion of a digital generation - a generation defined through its relationship with a particular technology or medium – clearly runs the risk of attributing an all-powerful role to technology.” Technology “needs to be seen in the context of other social, economic and political developments” (2006:11). Siva Vaidhyanathan "Not all young people are tech-savvy" and "Talk of a "digital generation" or people who are "born digital" wilfully ignores the vast range of skills, knowledge, and experience of many segments of society" (2008). Age bands of this study: 18 to 28, 40 to 50 and 65 to 75 David Buckingham “ To a greater or lesser extent, technological change affects us all, adults included. Yet the consequences of technology depends crucially on how we use technology and what we use it for, and these things are subjected to a considerable degree of social variation within age groups as between them.”
Communication and Distribution Channels Time based Synchronous – sender and receiver are concurrently engaged in communication Asynchronous – sender and receiver are not concurrently engaged in communication Communication paradigms ‘ one-to-one’ (interpersonal) ‘ one-to-many’ (mass) ‘ many-to-many’ (networked)
Recent UK Survey Statistics <ul><li>Internet access: </li></ul><ul><li>73% of households have internet access </li></ul><ul><li>60% of adults accessing the internet everyday in 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Office for National Statistics – Internet Access 2010 Households and individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Date: 27 August 2010. Coverage: UK Base: UK adults who access the internet in the last three months. </li></ul>
Content Creation in Context Content creation in the context of this project is defined as: An arrangement of visual and/or audio material that requires some element of composition or editing. Motivations: “ People…[ ]….produce their own content for self-expression and self-actualization” (Shao, 2009:9). “ Obtaining gratification from being recognized and being able to articulate views, thoughts and experiences through content creation online are important determinants in affecting a person’s perceived empowerment” (Leung, 2009:1344).
Digital Literacy: Digital Skills and Critical Thinking Skills <ul><li>Digital literacy as defined by Dr Tabetha Newman </li></ul><ul><li>Digital tool knowledge + critical thinking + social awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of, and skill with, digital tools and applications </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to think critically, and evaluate and analyze information sources </li></ul><ul><li>Social awareness and ability to represent themselves digitally </li></ul><ul><li>Frequently incorrectly assumed that: </li></ul><ul><li>ICT exposure = ICT competence </li></ul><ul><li>Young people = Automatically digitally literate </li></ul><ul><li>Access to lots of information = Quality information (Newman, 2009) </li></ul>
Digital Literacy: Digital Skills and Critical Thinking Skills Allan Martin: “ The awareness, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital tools and facilities to identify, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, analyse and synthesise digital resources, construct new knowledge, create media expressions, and communicate with others, in order to enable constructive social action; and to reflect upon this process” (2006).
Methodology Age bands of this study: 18 to 28, 40 to 50 and 65 to 75 <ul><li>Qualitative methods using: </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnographic Study: Two stage online, phone and one-to-one data collection </li></ul><ul><li>Observation of not-prompted online content creation </li></ul><ul><li>Searching information on existing databases </li></ul>
Methodology Stage One – One-to-one questionnaire The first part of the study will be conducted online, email and via telephone with 90 people, 30 from each of three different age ranges. Stage Two – Face-to-face interview Data for this stage would be gathered through 30-recorded face-to-face interviews on location. 10 participants will be selected from each age range. This will allow greater connection with the participant and enable visual participation to be observed in-situ. Stage three – Online forum/social network This will be a closed online platform available only to the participants of the research. Participants will be encouraged to communicate with each other, discuss the project and share experiences and information. This site will be operational throughout the remaining two years of this project.
Tim Riley – University of Westminster – Social Media: Digital content creation and sharing across the ages ________________________________ www.timrileydigital.com www.myphddiary.co.uk ________________________________