Social Media: Three Generations of Sharing, Creativity and Collaboration
The web has become a place where the development and use of dynamic technologies and social software has created new communication channels. This development has given rise to web communities in which a culture of digital collaboration and sharing has proliferated along with reports of innovative uses within participatory media. Often underrepresented in these celebratory reports is how ordinary users engage and interact with these web technologies. As the web reaches maturity, empirical research is needed to understand what these uses mean in the lives of real people. In this research, I propose to investigate how three different generations of users exploit or engage with social media and examine how they share, create, and collaborate online. This study will expand knowledge of online participation to the research community by gathering empirical data to show how ordinary web users of different ages use the web. The aim is also to provide an understanding of how wide or narrow the digital divide separating three generations of existing web users is. My research will collect qualitative data to examine the technological utilisation and generational similarities and differences of three generations of participants using social media. Through this research I hope to discover what relationships exist among the age groups of users, how they use technology, and whether this fosters or obstructs online creativity, collaboration, and communication.