Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category
Text messaging explodes as teens embrace it as the centerpiece of their communication strategies with friends. Cell phones are not just about calling or texting – with expanding functionality, phones have become multimedia recording devices and pocket-sized internet-connected computers. Cell phones are seen as a mixed blessing. Parents and teens say phones make their lives safer and more convenient. Yet both also cite new tensions connected to cell phone use. Cell phones help bridge the digital divide by providing internet access to less privileged teens.
Text messaging has become the primary way that teens reach their friends, surpassing face-to-face contact, email, instant messaging and voice calling as the go-to daily communication tool for this age group. However, voice calling is still the preferred mode for reaching parents for most teens.
The Civic and Political Significance of Online Participatory Cultures among Youth Transitioning to Adulthood
Most existing scholarship that measures the impact of the Internet on civic or political engagement focuses on political uses of new media. Drawing on two large panel studies, we find that youth engagement in nonpolitical online participatory cultures may serve as a gateway to participation in important aspects of civic and political life, including volunteering, community problem-solving, protest activities, and political voice. These relationships remain statistically significant for both datasets, even with controls for prior levels of civic and political participation and a full range of demographic variables. While politically driven online participation is clearly worthy of attention, these findings indicate that it should not be seen as the only relevant bridge from online activity to civic and political engagement.