Explore how individuals adopt new media technologies and incorporate them into their everyday life Research Paper

Abstract

Nowadays, people are increasing the relevance of the information they are exposed to through integrating almost all media practices to their daily routines, be it at work or social life. This research paper analyses how people are rapidly adopting new media technologies in their everyday lives.

The aim of the research is to carefully investigate individual practices in comparison to their engagement with new varieties of media technologies within a domestic environment.

Also the paper analyses the rapid adoption of such new technologies and its impact on individuals in terms of its implication to the transformation of the geography of one’s own everyday life. The paper deeper focuses on how web 2.0 applications, such as social networks have turned into marketplaces for almost all products and services.

Introduction

Internet-based media technologies are the most common type of new media technologies that are rapidly being implemented by different individuals and apparently changing almost every practical type of application from business, leisure and people’s communication processes how they interact socially with each other.

As we increasingly witness the emergence of new technologies, understanding how individuals get to be drawn to these technologies to an extent of using the technologies in their everyday lives becomes an important factor while trying to find answers of how and why individuals are turning to technologies and incorporating them as part of their lives.

As internet accessibility grows, more and more people are relying on the internet as an essential tool for their everyday activities, such as communication, knowledge leisure, commercial transactions and consequently they use it to improve their lives.

Since the introduction and expansion of social networks, most entrepreneurs and agencies have adopted and embraced online media as many online marketers are using social media to reach their target customers (Amazon 2005, 12). Debra Levista, our case study in this paper, shares the experience of using new media technology to one’s own advantage.

Literature review

According to Breakenridge (2008, 337), the term new media technology defines the “several forms of evolving presentations that make use of technology and interactivity”. There are several components that are associated with new media.

First component is the device that an individual uses in order to convey or communicate information to another. The second component involves the activities and the practices carried out throughout the communication process and how the new media is able to utilize the devices and practices to develop social arrangements and forums (Negroponte 1995, 23).

The emergence of web 2.0 through evolution of new technologies has created the several channels of media communication, such as weblogs like individual blogs, social networking websites like twitter, Facebook, MySpace YouTube, and viral games like world of war craft.

The mentioned new technologies have since provided a platform where by people are able to interact with each other based on their choice and preference.

Most of the new media technologies can clearly be referred to as the by-products of the technology of the web 2.0. since the new media technologies utilizes web 2.0 platform; as it allows users to interact with each other as contributors to the website content through interactive information sharing and collaboration activities.

Research methodology

The research is conducted through a qualitative analysis based on the records kept in a one week diary on the details of how Debra used this new media technology to her advantage.

Debra makes her product orders and purchases them through the internet and she does get information of new products in the market through the internet and especially through the social networking sites since she is signed to almost all the common social networks like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace just to mention but a few.

An interview will be conducted to fully establish the activities of Debra and understand how she uses new media technology in her everyday life. Domestication concept will be employed to ascertain what individuals do with new technology in their domestic settings and outside their domestic setting.

The research paper will exhibit domestication theory as a viable tool to exploring the adaptation of technology into everyday life while incorporating the media audience concept to make a wholesome study. Another concept that would be used to ascertain her use of media technology is mobility of the technology.

It is important for one to have a mobile technology as it would help explore the adoption of its use in the everyday life of a person. An individual will always go for a new technology that is flexible so that it is an advantage to an individual life regardless of where and when this person wants to use the technology.

This study focuses on an individual, Debra Levista, who has managed to adopt a new kind of media technology and incorporated it into her everyday life. Levista is a close friend who shares the experience of using new media technology, such as business websites and social networks to her advantage as she runs her daily errands.

Domestication Concepts

According to Sorenson (2006, 10), domestication theory as a concept in science and technology studies and media studies simply describes the process by which innovations like new technology is appropriately used by its users. The main aim of this concept is to get informed on how new technologies are gradually being incorporated into people’s domestic culture (Silverstone and Haddon 1996, 52).

Most objects go through the process of domestication before they are fully accepted by people to the extent of incorporating them into their lives. But people should note that domestication goes beyond the analyzing of the technicality of an object instead, it is also concerned with the social processes as it explains how an individual is able to adopt that particular object.

The object of concern in this research is making a new kind of technology our own. The concepts of domestication seeks to incarcerate what goes on in an individual’s life once they have adopted a new technology it also tries to point out on the adjustments made by a person in order to fit in the new object into their lives (Kotler and Lee 2008, 88).

According to Haddon (2003, 43), “Domestication deals with how ICT’S become integrated into people’s daily lives or how ICT “find a place in peoples life.” Another author, Punie (2005, 56), refers to the “concept of domestication to the capability of individuals, families, households and other institutions to bring new technology and services into their own culture and assume them as their own.”

Silverstone (2004, 102) adds that “domestication has to do with the cultural social and technological networks of the everyday life of households. The conceptions and importance of all media and information products depend on the engagement of the users.”

From the cited definitions of different authors, it can be noted that they all view domestication in almost the same way. In their interpretation they all mention key concepts which are daily life, domestic and culture.

Domestication of technology traces its roots from sociological studies of technology where it is considered as one of the aspects that deal with social technology.

Originally, the model of domestication was developed so that people can learn how they can use the process of consumption of technologies used at home, such as the telephone, the VCR or home computers to their advantage (Silverstone and Haddon 1996, 51; Silverstone 2005, 39).

Today, domestication concept is used to explore the gradual the adoption of technology within the capacity of other spheres (Sorenson 2006, 34).

Domestication theory undergoes different phases which a user has to undergo before embracing any new technology. The first phase is the co-modification phase, a phase where by an innovation is conceived designed and produced as commodity (Punie 2005, 132).

Once the user is in possession of the object, it further undergoes more construction work to become meaningful as an object of functionality to the user.

Secondly, domestication undergoes the process of appropriation where a consumer buys the technology and tries to make himself or herself familiar to it (technology) in terms of getting it permanent place in their everyday life and also integrating it in their pre-existing social routines (Habib 2002, 45; Thompson 1994, 156).

Lastly, domestication undergoes the process of conversion. This is the process whereby users can now relate personal experiences with the new acquired technology to the world at large. “Conversion is the act of consumers displaying their competence and ownership of the artifact legitimates their involvement in consumer culture” (Silverstone and Haddon 1996, 65).

The users engage themselves in active conversion process through various ways like showing off or start discussions about it. In most cases, the user always wants to share the experience they have with their new technology with other people.

At this time, the technology potentials are on the spot light and also it is at this instance and place users and designers of the technology get to learn about the possible usage of the technology from a user’s point of view. As far as the concept of domestication is concerned, the concept can be termed as a handy analytical tool.

Domestication concept is centered towards the human aspect of the technology shaping process. It provides step by step details of users shaping activities and in the end it neglects the role of technology (Robins 1995, 89).

Mobility concept

The emergence of information and communications technologies has transformed the use of technology especially with issues concerned with mobility. There have been several debates on mobility with the most debated issue being how particular mobile technologies can be used to alleviate geographical barriers for human activities.

The concept of mobility has manifested a great transformation in our social lives. Today, we can define our lifestyles as mobile in the sense that the emergence of technologies developments is moving at a faster rate (Urry 2000, 99).

Many enterprises today have become more mobile than ever before. It is now easier to work even in the remote areas of a country with the help of emerging new media technologies that are being invented and are proving useful.

With the use of mobile technologies like the mobile devices and the internet, it is now easier for individuals to communicate regardless of where an individual is. Business firms are using mobility as a fundamental requirement for their operations. In terms of social marketing, the internet offers limitless virtual space.

Most marketers are benefiting from search engines such as Google in popularizing their products and services. In addition by using the internet, it means that there is independence in terms of time and place as social sites and websites are accessible from any place that is internet connected and at any given time (Tapscott 1995, 124).

Patterns

Deborah is a young lady in her late twenties and she likes shopping but because she is very busy at work and running her part-time marketing business, she finds it hard to always do the physical shopping as most people do. She has a daily website and social network use pattern.

It involves using her iPhone to call a few of her favorite product delivery services to check if there are any new products in the market.

To her, it does not matter what kind of a product is available as she always shop for everything online (except food). Once she is informed of the product she checks on the details of the product before she decides to purchase it. Once she thinks the product or service is worth buying then she goes ahead and orders it.

She refers to her iPhone as “her baby” as she is able to communicate almost everything that she possibly wants through her phone; be it clients, business partners conducting meetings staying in touch with friends and so forth.

Debra has an account on Facebook, Twitter and is constantly visits YouTube among other social networks. She says, “From these sites, I get to know of some new products in the market if I do not directly call those who do my supplies. I do this mainly during my free time or while on the move”.

She continues to explain that while at the office, she is constantly chatting with people online and most especially her suppliers and clients besides friends and relatives through the social networks. She says the social networks have made work easier for her as a marketer and as a shopaholic.

According to her, the emergence of social networks took a whole load from her everyday work difficulties as it became much easier for her to order what fascinated her. She does her chatting and researches either via her iPhone when she is not close to an internet connected computer/laptop and vice versa.

Debra’s daily routine diary

Day/date Am/Pm Activities Where/purpose
Monday
14th July
6:45 Raise up early take a look at my phone for any messages or emails. Take a shower dress up and leave for work Home
official
7:30 Call office to update them on clients request I got via email, check on what’s on twitter and face book Way to work
official
8:00 Sign in the office switch on the computer and open up my emails accounts. At work
official
8:00-12:00 Attend meetings through teleconferencing and video conferencing Office
official
12:00-1:00 Skype several clients in and out of the country Office
1:00-2:00 Check Face book and bog on laptop
Listen to music
Service shop
leisure
2:00-4:00 Surf through internet for new products in the market call a few suppliers reply emails Show room
leisure
4:00-9:00 Make last days calls to clients, head home check mails again log in to u tube for some new music videos Home
leisure

Analysis

The interview conducted provided an insight of the everyday use of social network by an individual. The subject of discussion in this paper would be the advantage of social network in our lives (Negroponte, 1995 p.56). The findings on this paper shows that in deed the web technology that results to having social sites has undergone the commodification process.

Commodification process begins at the designing stage advertising and marketing stages respectively where the technology constructed is to be desired by the prospective user. The marketing through online social networks replaces the traditional marketing strategy for many online businesses and it is a sure and easy way of communicating brand products information.

Besides, the social networks build relationships between brand marketers and the customers to gain trust and recognition from their customers.

Based on the information gathered from Debra’s routine, it is clear how both consumers and businesses are using social networks to their advantage. Those maximizing their indulgence of their businesses to the social networks are really benefiting from it (Weber 2007, 45).

The reason as to why many of the online businesses are taking this direction is that, as compared to the past years, today the popularity of social networks is gaining momentum very fast as the number of social network users increases by day. Many people are using social sites as a channel that they can use to tighten their relation between their suppliers and the consumers of their products.

Customers shopping online use social networks to know new products in the market and inquire whatever they want and even have these products and services delivered at their doorstep. Also their informative and customer care queries being instantly solved (Tapscott 1995, 134).

However, since the introduction of new media technologies, there has been an increase in the complexity and pace of everyday life as compared to years back when mass distribution of new technologies took years to set up. Coron (2000, 2) says “Today (however) our life has speeded up.

Not only does technology spread much more rapidly, but the time separating the introduction of new forms is quite shorter. Thus, this occurrence has bought with it the urge to redefine more traditional household technologies, such as TVs and traditional telephony.”

The boundaries between the various advancements are vanishing. All this leads to the need to redefine the way we suit in technologies both in the individual and community level. Coron (2000, 3) adds “The dichotomy that defined technology as a work tool or leisure item tend to disappear and with it the lines drawn between public and private spheres”.

Conclusion

Evidently, from the study individuals are rapidly finding themselves embracing a whole new culture in their lives and in the process of adopting the new media technologies as they come up. It is clear that the ability and constrictions of an individual’s social life online can be conceived in terms of three measures. These measures are fit, link and position.

In terms of fit, entrenched internet goes well with daily routines for social lives without demanding changes in any of our hold habits. The internet has slowly become constituted in the background and surrounding of our everyday lives and we always find it difficult to give it up.

Link describes the efficiency of individuals to use the internet as way of linking people to the outside world. Today, the internet is considered as embedded media as an individual can easily telework without necessarily being physically at the office, stay in constant touch with relatives and friends read and inquire various issues online express opinions through blogging all these via the internet.

Lastly, position, this is the ability to integrate our lives to improve our social position and life quality depends on our increase capacity of understanding the information that is presented to us. This simply means that with the help of the information we gather from the internet we can quickly position our political stand/views become smatter as we continuously use the internet.

References

Amazon, R., 2005. Management in the media: decision makers 4th ed. Harlow: FT Prentice Hall.

Breakenridge, D., 2008. New Media, New tool, New Audiences. Chester: Pearson education Inc.

Coron, A., 2000. New Communication Technologies in the home: a qualitative study on the introduction and uses of media in the family. Sydney: Text Pacific.

Habib, L., 2002. Domesticating learning technologies in higher education: a tale of two virtual learning environments. London: Oxford publishers.

Haddon, l., 2001. Domestication and mobile telephony. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Kotler, P. & Lee R. N., 2008. Social Marketing Influence Behaviors for Good. 3RD ed. London: Hodder and Stoughton.

Negroponte, N., 1995. Being Digital. New York: Sage publications.

Punie, Y., 2005. The future of Ambient intelligence in Europe: the need for more everyday life. London: Ashgate Publishers.

Robins, K., 1995. Cyberspace and the World We Live In: Cultures of Technological Embodiment. London: Sage.

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Silverstone, R. & Haddon, L., 1996. Design and the Domestication of Information and Communication Technologies: Technical Change and Everyday Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Tapscott, D., 1995. The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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Urry J., 2000. Sociology beyond Societies: Mobilities for twenty first century. London: Routledge.

Weber, L., 2007. Marketing to the Social Web: How digital communities build your Business. New Jersey: Wiley & Son, Inc.

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