Bridging the Gap With QR Codes: QR Codes for Enhancing Cyberculture in Istanbul

Bridging the Gap With QR Codes: QR Codes for Enhancing Cyberculture in Istanbul

Moazzam Naseer (Riphah International University, Pakistan) and Celalettin Aktaş (Istanbul Commerce University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9108-5.ch020
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Turkey was at 40th as per Google's Our Mobile Planet five years ago. There are hardly a few counties, in these indices, which had seen such an upsurge of smartphone penetration rate in a short period of time. With the immense proliferation of smartphones there comes all types of uses and gratification consumers could attach to the smart gadgets. QR Codes were the inventions of same decade and were taken by storm by these smartphone consumers in Turkey. Past studies conducted in economically and digitally developed countries concluded that research and development in the area of QR Codes is in the field of advertising and marketing mainly. There are hardly advanced discussions from the dimension of media and communication. This study explores the basic themes and expansion of the idea of digital literacy around the academia; furthermore, a case is presented of how digital literacy is linked with digital divide in developing economies and how QR Codes can synergize the process of digital growth of societies and how QR Codes are addressed around the world.
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Context And Issues

Human beings are not born with innate sense of what constitutes beauty, health or the love for art; we learn and adapt the cultural standards through the process of socialization (Hodges 1990; Lears 1998). Family, friends, school and mass media plays a vital role for developing the socialization role in our young generations (Comstock, 1978; Simpson, 1998). Research shows that young users spend plenty of time on social media for versatile reasons (Boyd 2007; Dajani, 2012; Livingstone 2009; Turkle 2012). Therefore, media plays a vital role in developing the attitudes and behaviors through process of socialization in a society (Couldry, 2005; DeFleur, 1989). Inclination towards using certain digital products and preferring some over others could also be triggered by the media consumed such as social media, new media technologies. Behavior and attitudes are also determined through socialization agents such as parents, peers and schools. Behavior and attitudes towards certain preferences are also depending upon the income and education level of the people. For some using the digital devices is the symbol of class and symbol of class culture especially among youth and for others its necessity of life, youth cannot live without it.

An IDC’s research report, with data from Android and iPhone users ages 18 to 44 during March 2013, reveals some eye-opening mobile social media facts. 49 percent of the entire U.S. population uses a Smartphone. “A whopping 90 percent of them use their Smartphone first thing in the morning”. The Los Angeles Times, study showed that 55 percent of users use their Smartphones while driving, 33 percent use them on a date, and 9 percent… during sex. The press release said, “It should be no surprise that 12 percent believe their Smartphone gets in the way of their relationships.” This percentage rises to 25, when only looking at ages 18 to 34.

The growing importance of digital devices and the interactive smartphone and tablets affects our youth; psychological effects, health effects, and unknowingly the effects of digital divide which further could be translated into digital literacy. This topic has pulled the global attention and such issues are frequently discussed and have attracted academics, philanthropists, psychologists and alike. Unfortunately, the major focus remained revolving around the ways in which these digital devices contribute as an agent for social and economic development and also as an indicator how behavioral changes are taking place among the youth while interacting with such digital devices. There are also new challenges being faced by strategists and marketers (McKinsey, 2007; Urban, 2003) for attracting and influencing the youth for using the digital devices for maximum profits and marketing and selling goods. There is little clarity on the digital literacy attached to users of different generations but also among the ‘have and have not’ of society. There is also a little clarity of the media used with respect to the digital divide such as; tablets or smartphones or other digital gadgets contribute to what level gaps because all have a different type of necessity. However past research indicates generally that digital literacies help eliminating the digital gap which varies with the age, social status, education and uses and gratifications.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Divide: A gap or a gulf between the population who have a physical access to computer and internet and the population who does not have access to computer and internet is called digital divide.

QR Codes: Quick response codes are the invention of DENSO Automotive Corporation Japan. They are small square shape and have emerged from a two-dimensional classical barcode. There are many advantages for such a development from two dimensional barcodes to three dimensional QR Codes such as more data can be stored, and it can further transform into second generation of QR Codes and augmented hyper reality.

Digital Literacy: The ability to access, analyze, understand, and participate using the digital devices such as computer and the internet in a free and democratic manner.

Critical Thinking: An objective evaluation and analysis of issues with a motive to form better judgements.

Cyberculture: Conditions created by the enhancements of digital world with the help of computer, artificial intelligence, and internet, where the collective norm will be the digital literacy for communication at all levels and for education, information, and entertainment.

RTUK: This is a Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council, which deals with regulation of television and radio licensing.

Media Literacy: Media literacy or in broader term media information literacy (MIL) sometimes referred as information and media literacy is defined as ability to access, analyze, interpret, and create media contents in the limits of right of freedom in a democratic manner.

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