#ConnectedYouthBrazil Research: Emerging Literacies in a Hyperconnected Society

#ConnectedYouthBrazil Research: Emerging Literacies in a Hyperconnected Society

Brasilina Passarelli (School of Communications and Arts, University of São Paulo, Brazil) and Fabiana Grieco Cabral de Mello Vetritti (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8740-0.ch011
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A new logic emerged in the hyperconnected contemporary society, contributing to a new kind of social agent. The emergence of social networks evolved to a diverse agents' profile, especially among the connected youth. To understand better this context a study was conducted focusing the opportunities, changes and trends of Brazilian connected youth behavior in the digital age, considering four research areas: social attitudes, education, entrepreneurship and activism. Entitled #ConnectedYouthBrazil, the research is complex and innovative in multiple dimensions with a mix of extensive quantitative survey and qualitative methodological approach, which included Internet monitoring (E-Meter), in-depth interviews and focus groups. The main research results presented in this chapter can inspire further discussion on the connected youth.
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Contemporary connected society undergoes significant changes related to technology use. It has become more and more regular to observe the use of computers and mobile devices with the purpose of obtaining information and data. Thus, they have performed a process of knowledge construction based on the connected individual’s experience. The use of technology as a mean of mediation between the subject and the world exceeds the interpretation of digital media as tools for establishing new logic and languages.

Technologies that establish new logic and languages help form “the skin of culture” (Kerckhove, 2009), a metaphor for skin as a tissue – design that covers the culture that integrates technology. The skin that covers culture is part of the changes occurring in the scope of communication and leads us to corroborate McLuhan’s precept (1974) about media as man’s extensions as well as to widen this perception. Digital media have allowed computer-mediated communication.

That mediation process started promoting a distinct communication model that can be better understood by the difference established by Lévy (1999, p. 63) among the three categories of media devices: one-to-everyone, one-to-one and everyone-to-everyone. According to the author, the one-to-everyone principle implies a broadcasting center that sends its messages to a large number of passive and spread out receivers as it happens to press, radio and television. The one-to-one contact, from one individual to another, takes place by means of an interchangeable relationship among speakers, either by mail or by telephone. Everyone-to-everyone communication can be observed in cyberspace as the communication device allows communities to create a common context in a progressive and cooperative way. Therefore, World Wide Web (WWW) can be considered as an everyone-to-everyone communication.

Considering that the Internet shares everyone-to-everyone model, its functionality can be analyzed under two viewpoints: a) interpersonal communication: communication established by e-mails and instantaneous messages. It is a time measurement device that tries to give meaning to events that take place simultaneously outside the Internet. Analogically speaking, it is compared to a telephone or to a letter; the second one refers to file sharing systems available from World Wide Web (WWW) on and constitute mass media (Cardoso, 2007).

Cardoso highlights these functions performed by media when he states that “besides being a medium, the Internet is also an interpersonal medium and also a social media, or mass media (2007, p. 110). Therefore, it is possible to identify that the Internet gives to communication everyone-to-everyone status because it is at the same time mass media and interpersonal media. Primo (2007) supports that idea when he identifies that computer-mediated interaction is not reduced to one-to-everyone model, but it makes an one-to-one and an everyone-to-everyone contacts easier.

Under the interaction perspective, Primo (2007) used a systemic-relational approach in order to seek an interpersonal and group communication. According to his viewpoint, interaction can be mutual or reactive.

Key Terms in this Chapter

MIL-Media and Information Literacy: Media and information literacy recognizes the primary role of information and media in our everyday lives. UNESCO’s strategy brings together two fields: Information Literacy and Media Literacy - as a combined set of competencies (knowledge, skills and attitude) necessary for life and work today. MIL considers all forms of media and other information providers such as libraries, archive, museums and Internet irrespective of technologies used.

#ConnectedYouthBrazil Research: #JuventudeConectadaBrasil is a complex and innovative research regarding multiple dimensions with a mix of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, as a survey interviewing 1,400 respondents aging between 16 and 24 years old and integrating different social classes in the whole country.

Transmedia Storytelling: Represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story.

Actor–Network Theory (ANT): Is an approach to social theory and research, originating in the field of science studies, which treats objects as part of social networks. Although it is best known for its controversial insistence on the capacity of nonhumans to act or participate in systems or networks or both, ANT is also associated with forceful critiques of conventional and critical sociology.

Netnography: The author develops “netnography” as an online marketing research technique for providing consumer insight. “Netnography” is ethnography adapted to the study of online communities.

Hyperconnectivity: As the sharp increase in the interconnectedness of people, organizations and objects that has resulted from three consecutive waves of technology innovation: the Internet, mobile technology and the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Onlife”: Defines more and more of our daily activity - the way we shop, work, learn, care for our health, entertain ourselves, conduct our relationships; the way we interact with the worlds of law, finance, and politics; even the way we conduct war. In every department of life, ICTs have become environmental forces which are creating and transforming our realities.

Infocommunication: Term used by Portuguese authors and refers to the interdisciplinary aspect of communication sciences and information sciences. For further information about the definition of infocommunication we suggest the reading of the first part of the “e-Infocomunicação: estratégias e aplicações” book (2014), formed by three highly theoretical chapters.

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