New blog post on Pew Internet Project site

My latest post is up on the Pew Internet website. This one considers my master’s thesis research in light of the Project’s recent report on the impact of technology on teens’ writing havits, which I have previously blogged about here. Check it out.

For my master’s thesis at Georgetown University, I was interested in how 21st century communication technologies are changing the ways in which people interact with members of their social networks. Specifically, I focused my research on how Facebook is altering the methods users employ to build and maintain a network of friends. This research was facilitated by a survey of 644 Georgetown undergraduates on their uses of various communication technologies, and especially the internet, in keeping connected with others.

I recently began thinking of my research in light of Pew’s recent Writing, Technology and Teens report, and saw several interesting connections between the two. Both studies focus on digital natives, or those users who have had access to many of these newer communication technologies since a young age: Pew’s report looks at 12-17 year olds, while my research was limited to college undergraduates ages 18-25. Furthermore, both studies consider the implications of technology on communication. Therefore, the question that arose in my mind was, do the trends we found in our Pew report among younger teens also apply to young adults? [More…]

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Has anyone else noticed that the mobile Internet is blowing up?

I guess I like to blog in clusters. Tuesday, I posted a blog on Pew Internet’s site. Today, I put up a related blog on gnovis’ website. And as I have come to realize in my thesis research on Facebook, the evolution of cell phones is the next big hot topic. We’re going to see so much happening in 2008 in the world of cellular technology that you should probably buckle yourself in. In you didn’t get enough to sate your appetite reading my Pew post, check out my latest gnovis blog here.

Here’s a tasty snippet:

The U.S., which has never been a leader in mobile technology, may finally be catching up (ever so slightly, at least) with foreign markets, thanks in large part to Google and Apple’s recent efforts to make the Internet mobile.

At the very least, American demand for many of these newer technologies, especially phones with internet capabilities, has been experiencing a significant upswing in the last year. Earlier this week, I posted a blog on the Pew Internet Project’s website that looked at the organization’s most recent data in light of some recent tech business news. For example, Pew’s most recent data suggest that many Americans cannot live without their cell phones — 51% say that it would be “very hard to give up” using them. This number has increased by 15% over the last five years. Even more significant is the percentage of Americans who report they would have a hard time giving up their Blackberries, which has jumped from just 6% of respondents in 2002 to 36% of respondents in 2007. I expect if this same question was asked at year-end 2008, we would see that number approaching, if not surpassing, the 50% mark. [More…]