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What Youth Want Today?

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Proceedings of the 35th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - 2002

Just what do the youth of today want? Technology appropriation by young people
Jennie Carroll, Steve Howard, Frank Vetere Department of Information Systems, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3052. Tel: +61 3 8344 9237 @unimelb.edu.au Jane Peck, John Murphy Cambridge Technology Partners, Richmond 3121 Tel: +61 3 9224 2000 @ctp.com

What do young people want from information and communication technology? Why do they adopt some technologies but reject others? What roles do mobile technologies play in their lives as they move from childhood toward the adult world? Working from a social constructionist perspective, and on the basis of an extensive empirical research process, we are gaining insight into the variables heeded by young people during the earliest stages of technology use, stages we call ‘appropriation’. We propose a model that discusses appropriation in terms of the interplay between what young people desire, the capabilities and implications of technology and the situations of use that young people inhabit. Depending on the balance between these factors we are able to observe three outcomes: nonappropriation, appropriation and disappropriation. Conceptually we are describing technology use as a process of ‘personal construction’, quite different to the ‘construction’ processes followed by the designer, but nevertheless equally important.

1. Introduction
Mobile technologies, particularly mobile phones and text messaging, have been widely adopted by young people and integrated into their everyday lives. To date there has been little description of the ways that young people are adopting and using mobile technologies and so we have little understanding of the reasons for high levels of use, or the opportunities for designing new technologies that will further support young people’s lifestyles. This paper reports on a research project that examines young...


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