This digital research project focuses on children’s access to, and consumption of digital devices and media, specifically social networking sites. I decided to approach week eights topic (Regulating audiences: what makes this spatial?) after revisiting, and familiarizing myself with each topic. I was curious to know how much time children and adolescents were spending online/on social media and how much of this activity was supervised – if at all- by parents. I questioned whether parents wanted to monitor their children’s activity online and keep track of their location, or if they’d feel – even in today’s tech-savvy world – that this is an extreme measure.
I identified app creators as being a potential stakeholder organisation interested in this kind of research topic. Given applications (apps) are a key feature of today’s digital devices, and the nature of the research (device & media use/access), I believed app creators to be an appropriate target. There are already a number of apps that currently exist, enabling parents to track their child’s location, media usage and conversations across a variety of digital platforms (Tan 2012). However, this research will provide genuine insight and the information required to customize an application that is different to those that currently exist. An app that requires both parties to consent, encouraging open and honest communication between parents and their children.
I began investigating the topic, searching for published opinions to establish some base knowledge that I could build on. I then conducted my own primary research, creating two surveys; one for children and adolescents, and one for adults. Based on the research results, I aimed to develop an understanding of the habits, behaviours and genuine concerns and attitudes regarding children’s access to, and consumption of, media and digital devices. I continued my secondary research, focusing on previously conducted studies and government data/statistics relevant to the topic.
It became apparent that people were less concerned with the media platform or the time spent using it, but rather the actual content children were being exposed to. Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (2008) states that ‘content is what determines whether the impact is positive or negative’ and suggest a number of ways to ensure children’s use of media is a positive experience.
The research conducted and design of this project was intended to interest the potential stakeholders and stimulate meaningful discussions and change amongst a large audience. I have attempted to capture the audience’s attention in the first three slides using simple, thought provoking text, complimented by slow emotive music. Slide four suddenly cuts through the music and text with white noise; illustrating how quickly something unexpected can pop up with the click of a button. The remaining slides are mostly informational as they present facts and figures uncovered by the two surveys. Slides five to seven include the findings from the children and adolescent survey: ‘Youth Media Consumption 2014’. Slides eight, nine, fifteen and sixteen reveal the attitudes of parents and other adults from the second survey: ‘Youth Media Consumption 2014: Attitudes and Concerns’.
Although I am pleased with my final project and I feel that it has been successful, I know that it can be improved. Creating digital media isn’t my strong suit, so I struggled finding an appropriate platform that I could use to a certain level of efficiency. Even after coming to my decision, I did face challenges when I was trying to put everything together. I had so much information that I struggled to include all of my findings. This required a very selective process that saw a lot of content being cut out and left behind. In hindsight, I believe a different platform would have been more appropriate, however poor time management and health issues placed time restrictions on the completion of the project, not allowing enough time to make this change.
Upon completing this task, I’ve found I have gained a great deal of knowledge regarding children and adolescents use of media, and how their parents and other adults feel about it. I’ve discovered how time consuming and tricky audience research can be and have developed a newfound respect for anyone who works in this field and that of digital media or graphic design.
Although I think my project could be improved, I do believe I’ve done well to create a cohesive project that ensures a good fit between the idea, presentation and stakeholder.
Please click here to view the presentation.
Tan, K 2012, Top 5 Mobile Apps To Keep Your Kids Safe, hongkiat.com, viewed 26th October 2014, <http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/kid-safety-mobile-apps/>.
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs 2008, ‘Children and Electronic Media’, The Furture of Children, vol. 18,no. 1, pp. 1-2 viewed 28th November 2014, <http://futureofchildren.org/futureofchildren/publications/docs/18_01_ExecSummary.pdf>
Digital Project Reference List:
Australian Institute of Criminology 2011, Australian crime: Facts & figures, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra ACT, accessed 30th October 2014 < http://www.aic.gov.au/documents/0/B/6/%7B0B619F44-B18B-47B4-9B59-F87BA643CBAA%7Dfacts11.pdf>.
Australian Institute of Criminology 2012, Australian crime: Facts & figures, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra ACT, accessed 30th October 2014 <http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/publications/facts/2012/facts12.pdf>.
Australian Institute of Criminology 2013, Australian crime: Facts & figures, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra ACT, accessed 30th October 2014, <http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/publications/facts/2013/facts13.pdf>.
Primary Research (surveys):
‘Youth Media Consumption 2014’
‘Youth Media Consumption 2014: Attitudes and Concerns’
Dax Johnson – Merciful Dwelling
Sia – Breathe Me (Instrumental)