It is often argued that young people are among the first to adopt new media technologies, and that they are especially keen on taking on all new features connected with mobile technology and the Internet. In spite of this oft-repeated claim, one could suspect that since computers, mobile phones and other personal and digital media have become so widespread among large portions of the populations in the industrialised world, it might not be technology, per se, that distinguishes younger people from old, but rather the actual ways in which the media are used.
One way to discuss this is in terms of media generations. It could be expected that generations that have grown up with different mediated experiences during their formative years will relate to media technology in varied ways. This project aims at analysing media use and perceptions of media use among three generations in Sweden and Estonia, in order to analyses if, and to what extent, media technologies and media genres contribute to the generational experience.
The project focuses on three media generations: the radio/print generation (born in the 1930s), the TV generation (born in the 1950s), and the mobile technology generation (born in the 1980s). Access and usage patterns are researched, and the degree to which the three generations differ when it comes to their relations to digital media technology is discussed.
The methodological approach is twofold: quantitatively, results from bi-annually conducted surveys that are representative for Swedish and Estonian media users are analysed. Qualitatively, a range of individual and focus group interviews will be carried out in the two national contexts. The project is led by Professor Göran Bolin, who works together with a doctoral candidate.