Culture, Communication and Change:
Report on an investigation of the use and impact of modern media and technology in our lives
As communications technology develops, the ways in which humans interact with and react to technology and one another change as well. This project investigates both the positive and negative impacts of use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the populations of four countries: the UK, the US, Australia, and China. After a review of the existing research in this area, families in each country filled out diaries detailing their use of communications technology for one week and were subsequently interviewed about their use of and feelings towards ICT. A survey was also conducted with a larger number of participants in each country. Patterns of use and effects of ICT were fairly similar in the UK, US, and Australia, but were very different from patterns in China. ICT use ultimately can both help and hinder individuals and families, although it depends how the technology is used and not just how much technology is used. The negative effects could largely be mitigated by centralising the location of technology, creating rules and awareness, educating all family members about responsible technology use, and finding a good point of balance.
This report is free to download.