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A Snapshot in Time: Adolescents' Communicative Preferences through Technology

Lai, Manfred

Description

Generation Z (Gen Z) is the new transitional generation in terms of technological exposure and usage. Members of Gen Z may be seated side by side, but it is their mobile digital devices that connect, thumbs tapping incessantly. What are their communicative preferences? How comfortable has this generation been in engaging online? This research seeks to provide benchmarking answers to these questions. This thesis analyses the digital technological engagement of 92 Australian and Singaporean...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorLai, Manfred
dc.date.accessioned2019-11-08T00:52:52Z
dc.date.available2019-11-08T00:52:52Z
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/184200
dc.description.abstractGeneration Z (Gen Z) is the new transitional generation in terms of technological exposure and usage. Members of Gen Z may be seated side by side, but it is their mobile digital devices that connect, thumbs tapping incessantly. What are their communicative preferences? How comfortable has this generation been in engaging online? This research seeks to provide benchmarking answers to these questions. This thesis analyses the digital technological engagement of 92 Australian and Singaporean high school and college students (aged 14-17 in 2011). Specifically, it examines communicative preferences, technology consumption habits and technological comfort zones through a survey, interviews and analysis of a series of mediated blogs. Examining the findings through the concept of visuacy and the theories of Goffman (1959) and Erikson (1968), the research suggests that Gen Z experience cognitive and affective dissonance between their acknowledged necessity for digital connectedness and their concurrent need for direct interaction (e.g., face-to-face verbal communication and direct hand/eye technologies such as drawing, painting, and photography). Facebook was the most popular social networking site (SNS) among the research subjects, and their online usage of it aligned with other research at the time. The findings suggest that the students were more likely to be spectators in the mediated online environment than active participants. There were also differences in engaging in mediated versus non-mediated environments (with Australia students preferring the latter and Singaporeans the former). These benchmark findings are compared to subsequent research, reaffirming that the cohort's need for face-to-face communication remains unchanged. This thesis contributes substantially to the body of knowledge as the timing of the data collection occurred during a pivotal period both in terms of technological exposure (availability, usage and the rise of several key SNS sites) and the burgeoning interest of Gen Z in participating online. Developments in this field occur very rapidly, and this research provides an important benchmark. The research outlines an understanding of the impacts of mediated academic/social technology environments on adolescent development and learning in the early 21st century, providing a reference point for future researchers, educators and information technology professionals seeking to design digital platforms and systems.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.titleA Snapshot in Time: Adolescents' Communicative Preferences through Technology
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorPickering, Paul
local.contributor.supervisorcontactu9718370@anu.edu.au
dc.date.issued2019
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5dca7ca170669
local.identifier.proquestYes
local.thesisANUonly.authord0148a79-6a9d-4b72-9af1-c5e03aa60d4f
local.thesisANUonly.title000000013257_TC_1
local.thesisANUonly.keybc1549f9-6490-4aa7-308b-1619d5b6e597
local.mintdoimint
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