Media and youth, youth and media ad infinitum.
(WORLD) MediaSnackers has a simple focus: how young people consume and create media across the globe.
There are a vast amount weblogs, organisations and businesses out there focussing on this topic; some just on the technology aspect, several around the education arena, numerous on the marketing subject and others on new media platforms—but one HUGE constant keeps repeating for us:
You can't explore the impact of new media and technology on young people without exploring the impact of young people on new media and technology (and vice versa and so on and so forth).
In the 1950s a programme called Winky Dinky and You invited young people to participate in their show by using acetate and drawing the characters off the television screens. Over half a century later we have a generation interacting, creating, producing, owning, sharing, influencing all forms of media through the pervasive technology and devices they own or have access to.
We have also reached an unparalleled level of information and media in our society. Advertising has become more directive, aggresive and also ubiquitous. It's essential to challenge and ascertain any harm the media having on young people and ask those questions regarding responsibility.
Is it about technology, access, psychology or a deeper paradigm shift in empowerment and creativity?
There is a kick-ass quote from a young person in the Circuits of Cool research by Microsoft/MTV 2007 which goes:
My mates are my media.
In our training, speaking and consulting gigs we share fantastic stories about young people creating and using new media and technology in a pro-social context—illustrative case studies which got no or extremely little mainstream media coverage. We also educate our clients and the young people we work with on how to define their media menu and of course create their own (plus how to share and disseminate it).
This new media climate brings about a new set of questions relating to who has the greatest capacity, reach, impact etc.—the young people or the media?
The answer(s) keep changing along with the evolving mediascape but we have the passion and enthusiasm to keep asking the question. More importantly the understanding to explore how the media is shaping the youth of today whilst exploring how youth are shaping media.
MediaSnackers is currently working on a project which brings these all too often separate discussions together.