Youth Mobile World! A multi-country comparative case study of mobile use among young people
New media have been widely credited with providing a forum for young people in developing societies to voice their opinions. To understand why new media are such a powerful draw, a team of researchers recently conducted a mixed-method study among youth in seven media markets; the methodology was replicated with little to no adaptation to allow for better comparability across selected countries. The study employed a suite of research methods, from a one-week diary of media use to interviews with experts, to focus groups with young people, to ethnographic observation.
The study found that, because of its interactive nature and diverse opportunities for socialization, new media are increasingly drawing young people into discussions about social, political and other issues. While mobile phones and social networking sites do not turn youth into political activists overnight, they do make young people more responsive to the world around them, and, in times of crisis, more politically or socially active.