Speaker: Professor Toshie Takahashi
Discussant: Dr. Chris Davies
How similar are young people in different parts of the world in the way they use digital media? What do they share cross-culturally – and what not? Do cultural differences really matter when the technology is the same? The technology in question, the smartphone, has seen a meteoric rise in the past few years. It is now hard for most of us, and especially young people living in cosmopolitan urban centres, to imagine a world without the smartphone – and, for that matter, without their apps like social media such as Twitter, Facebook and LINE. The latter was only launched in 2011 by NHN Japan and has since become popular, not only in Japan, but also in Asia and Spanish-speaking countries. Precisely because the reach of such digital media is global, there is a need to understand how mobile social media are taken up and used in different places. As an initial step, this talk will present findings from a comparative study of digital media use amongst youth in Japan, US and the UK, focusing on their practices of connectivity, that is, connecting with both intimate and distant others through mobile social media.