What is the impact of digital forms of communication in a global context?

  • Created by: nelliott
  • Created on: 19-01-22 11:27

Older users of the internet (Berry, 2011)

•Berry carried out research, focusing on the way older people use the internet

•He found out that people who didn’t have the internet was due to lack of skills or lack of interest, rather than not being able to gain access

•He found there are psychological barriers preventing older people going online

•These reasons appear to be more significant than material factors, such as cost

•Older people who do use the internet do so less than younger people 

•There has been content designed to encourage older people to use the internet, based on web design

•E.g., social network websites with high contrast colours, large fonts and simple formats

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Social class – the Digital Divide (Mertens and D’H

•Studied in Brussels, lower social class links to lower internet use

•People with lower social class tended to use technology for entertainment rather than knowledge and information

•They wanted to measure the digital divide by ethnicity and gender, but found social class to be the most powerful factor

•They said the divide might be even bigger than their research shows

•Some people may not admit to being able to access digital media, due to the embarrassment of them looking poor

•However, this was an anonymous study

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Gender – attitudes towards the internet (Li & Kir

•Investigated differences in the use of and attitudes towards the internet and computers

•They used a sample of 220 Chinese and 245 British students

•They carried out self-report questionnaires and found different experiences, usage, and confidence between the students

•They also found gender differences

•Men in both countries were more likely than women to use chat rooms, email, and play games

•Men were also more confident with their computer skills

•They expressed that using computers was a male activity

•Gender differences were higher in the British group than the Chinese group

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Age & technology (Garside, 2014)

•Garside argues that the average six-year-old understands more about digital technology than a 45-year-old adult

•With the introduction to broadband in the year 2000, a generation of children are born and never know about the dark ages of dial up internet

•Many are learning how to use smartphones and tablets before they can talk

•This suggests younger generations are shaping digital communication and therefore have different habits from older generations

•While half of adults say they know lots about smartphones, nearly half have never heard of Snapchat, which is overwhelmingly used by people under 25

•Two decades ago, teenagers devoted their evenings talking on the phone, whereas now they are socialising through sending messages, photos, or videos

•‘The millennium generation is losing its voice’ Ofcom claims

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Age & technology (Boyle, 2007)

•Boyle argues that each generation becomes more and more reliant on digital communication

•This has led to a ‘digital generation divide’ between the old and the young 

•Boyle suggests that young people are receptive to learning new skills demanded by new forms of technology and communication

•It could also be young people are keener to explore

•Young people place more importance on their peers and social networks, which may be another reason why they use digital communication so much

•Parents are also spending more money on their children, therefore children now have more expensive phones, tablets, and laptops 

•This lets them use digital communication all the time

•Furthermore, young people have more free time on their hands and less responsibilities, unlike parents who spend a lot of their free time doing other tasks, rather than using digital communication

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•Evidence of the use of internet in different parts of the world shows interesting patterns of access, which can partly explain the uneven distribution of globalisation

•More developed countries have greater access to and consumption of the internet

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