Choice, Ethics, Self-Images: A Study of Mobile News Consumption Among Canadian University Students
MetadataShow full item record
Recently gathered statistics on Internet usage indicate that news consumption occurs mostly online, and that youth in particular are more likely to get news and information from mobile devices. Such statistics tend to reflect what has been widely held as a positive link between technology and communication in an increasingly interconnected world. In short, advances in the ways people gather information about the world around them will unlock greater democratic potential. However, statistics on the pervasiveness and increased usage mobile phones amongst youth does not demonstrate the degree to which mobile news consumption influences youth engagement in civic or political activities, meaningful daily practices, and life in contemporary Canadian society. In order to better understand the reality of this link one must look beneath the surface of news consumption and examine the many ways in which youth negotiate their relationships to the social world. Interviews based on the daily habits and practices of students mobile news consumption, framed in terms of choice, ethics, and identity, revealed a more precise understanding of these relations. Based on this new information, the thesis concludes that pervasiveness of student mobile phone use is more than the overwhelming success of marketization. Instead, their use of these devices helps them to negotiate the rhythms of everyday student life. Not only do the students form intimate relationships with their mobile phones, they also utilize them to direct their energies toward a variety of civic and political issues through the frequent and unbroken exchange of information.