Sociologo, Università di Trieste
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Key words: Digital natives, Web, Mobile communication, Social networking
Aims - The article discusses the key findings of a study aimed at investigating how
young people integrate new technologies and new media devices within the spaces of
Methods - A survey was carried out - through a closed-ended questionnaire - which involved a sample of 514 subjects, aged between 15 and 24, living in Friuli Venezia Giulia, a region of North-East Italy.
Results - The survey highlights the central role of new technological devices such as the mobile phone (more than two hours per day: 40.3%), web (47.7%) and social networks (29.7%), which does not appear to be at odds with relational resources available offline. The decision to participate in a social network (93.1% of respondents) is mainly due to the desire to maintain close contacts with existing friends (76.4%). The mobile phone is used to be “always on” (57.7%), as well as a means to share emotions and feelings (66.3%).
Conclusions - The key findings indicate that online and offline, old media and new media are not handled as separate and distinct spheres, but as articulations of a coherent space of experience, in which the opportunities to meet and stay in touch with peers - and not technologies - are of decisive importance for young people.
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