My project is an initiative created to discuss how mobile phones influence young people’s romantic relationships. It features youth discussing their experiences with cell phones and relationships. This is a form of empowerment through self-representation. I chose this topic because it is a popular issue that is not always discussed in public forums.
My project is hosted on a blog. This platform is suitable for my project because it can host a wide variety of media formats. The main page contains a series of short video interviews. “The Rulebook” is an interactive section of the blog in which visitors are asked to submit what they think are the unwritten rules of cell phone dating etiquette. The section entitled “Additional Media” features an assortment of media texts that discuss cell phones and relationships. The blog is easy to access, read and share, making it a great medium for this project.
There is an assortment of literature that supports my discussion of cell phones, youth and sexual relationships. My arguments about the need to critically examine the role that cell phones play in the lives of youth are based on Morimoto and Friedland’s “The Lifeworld of Youth in the Information Society” in which they explain how the lifeworlds of youth are becoming increasingly mediated (Morimoto and Friedland, 551). Research on the relationship between cell phones and youth has already begun. In “Children, Youth, And Mobile Communication” Rich Ling explores the ways in which teens have integrated cell phones into their lives (Ling, 2007). Further, In “’I luv u :)!’;: A Descriptive Study of the Media Use of Individuals in Romantic Relationships” Coyne et al. explore who uses cell phones as mediators in their romantic relationships, as well as the ways in which these mobile devices are used by people in relationships (Coyne et al, 2011). An interesting piece of information that I took from this text is that the most common reason for mediated contact amongst people in relationships is to express affection (Coyne et al, 158). In Wayne et al’s “Television News and the Symbolic Criminalization of Young People” the authors discuss how the media frames events in ways that serve particular interests (Wayne et al, 2008). The “Additional Media” section of my blog provides examples of how different people have framed my issue. While cell phones have certainly affected our dating lives in a number of ways, others suggest that its impact might sometimes be blown out of proportion. In “Is Your Teen at Risk? Discourses of Adolescent Sexting in the United States Television” Draper discusses how media panics have been created around youth and cell phones (Draper, 2012).
The primary goal of this media product is to educate people and create an ongoing dialogue. I want it to serve as a resource and forum for young people to discuss cell phones and sexual relationships, and for adults to educate themselves about this subject. As the lifeworld of youth becomes increasingly mediated, researching the relationship between specific media and youth is crucial to making informed decisions (Morimoto and Friedland, 551).
Coyne, Sarah M, Stockdale, Laura, Busby, Dean,, Iverson, Bethany, and Grant, David M. “’I luv u :)!’: A Descriptive Study of the Media Use of Individuals in Romantic Relationships.” Family Relations 60 (2011): 150–162. Wiley Online Library. Web. 14 Nov 2013.
Draper, Nora R. A. “Is Your Teen at Risk? Discourses of Adolescent Sexting in the United States Television News.” Journal of Children and Media 6.2 (2012): 221-236.
Ling, Richard. “Children, Youth and Mobile Communication.” Journal of Children and Media 1.1 (2007): 60-67. Taylor & Francis Online. Web. 14 Nov 2013.
Morimoto, Shauna & Lewis A. Friedland. “The Lifeworld of Youth in the Information Society.” Youth & Society 32.2 (2011): 549-567.
Wayne, Mike, Hederson, Lesley, Murray, Craig and Julian Petley. “Television News and the Symbolic Criminalizing of Young People” Journalism Studies 9.1 (2008): 75-90.