Ungdomars virtuella rörlighet - Användningen av dator, internet och mobiltelefon i ett geografiskt perspektiv
This study explores how urban young people fit the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) into their everyday lives. Their virtual mobility may be lasting and have long-term effects on socio-spatial structures. The specific aim of this thesis is to examine the actual use of ICT in young people’s everyday lives, and to analyse the social and geographical dimensions of this use. The thesis focuses on the following research issues: 1) evolving patterns of access to and use of computers, the Internet, and mobile phones among young people in Sweden; 2) the Internet as a new means of communication, and how it affects the social and geographical patterns of interpersonal contacts; 3) the interplay between various forms of geographical mobility – virtual, physical, and media-related; and 4) how computer use as a new domestic leisure activity may affect how and where young people spend their free time. The theoretical approach emphasises the role of the user and how her or his daily activity patterns shape the geographical implications of ICT. Detailed insight into actual ICT use was obtained via a longitudinal in-depth investigation of 43 high-school students. Data were collected through communication and travel diaries and in-depth interviews. Data from the Swedish National Communication Surveys, 1997–2001, cast light on the role of various ICT-based activities among young people in general. Results show that young people spend one and a half hours per day using computers, half of this time being spent on line. Young men and people with broadband access spend more time using computers than other groups do. Our indepth study revealed various types of users. The Internet is mainly used to communicate with people one already knows in real life and to reinforce existing contact patterns. Contacts are both geographically far-flung and very local, thus intensifying “glocal” patterns of communication. Virtual mobility and ICT-based strategies of behaviour complement, rather than replace, physical mobility and travel-based activities. ICT-based activities displace other in-home activities, such as watching television. A main conclusion is that virtual mobility has only minor impacts on the geographical locations of activities and thus on urban social and spatial structure in general.
Göteborg University. School of Business, Economics and Law
Meddelanden från Göteborgs universitets geografiska institutioner. Serie B., nr 105