Name: Nehal ElTahir
Student no.: n8317666
Tutor: Abbey-Rose Hamilton
Tutorial day & time: Wednesday, 3:00-4:00pm


The Impact of Social Media & Technology on Generation Y2e277ee3d7403224c1f2fc9473807959.jpg
Cultural Artefact
The artefact presented is of a ‘comedic’ take on the statistics and facts of Facebook users made by CollegeHumor (a website that includes comedy skits and articles that is targeted to young adults i.e. generation Y). The image shows that people rely on Facebook and some use it as a guide in their day to day life and shows how obsessed people can be with their ‘online reputation’. Facebook is the obvious leader of the online social world and is starting to become a part of not only gen y, but also their predecessors’ social world. CollegeHumor takes advantage of the fact that it’s is the ruler of social networking and that most people can relate to it.

Public health issue
It has always been difficult to determine the exact age group of generation Y, most sources state that they are people who are born from the early 80s to mid-90s (Anandarajan et al. (2010); Cubit 2011). However, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006), generation Y was grouped up with generation X and individuals born after the mid-80s belonged to the ‘iGeneration’. This makes it even harder to focus on the group as they are not defined. Generation Y is the generation that has witnessed the technology revolution and the creation of a new world – ‘cyberworld’. In the long run, the excessive use of technology can lead to a decrease in the rate of activity and therefore, becoming overweight, as well as mental health issues such as addiction and anxiety (WHO 2011; Koivusilta et al. 2007). Social network sites such a Facebook have become a part of our culture, but has it crossed the line between our cyber life and our real life?
Link to artefact: http://www.collegehumor.com/survey/facebook

Literature review
Technology plays an important role in our day to day lives and that is what makes generation Y’s view of the social world different to their predecessors, as they haven’t lived in a world without it. Gen Y has the need to be connected to some form of technology all the time whether it’s via text messaging, instant messaging and any other forms (Clark 2009; Gerger 2007). Many of these young adults describe their mobile phones as a part of themselves and without them they perform any of their daily tasks (Clark 2009).
Social media was originally used mostly by generation Y, however, this is changing as it is increasingly becoming part of our daily lives (Sarringhaus 2011). Facebook is a social networking site that was created in 2004 by a fellow member of Gen Y, Mark Zuckerberg, who was a university student at the time and Facebook has over 21 million users worldwide (Sheldon 2008). It is a public website where individuals share information, sometimes personal, about themselves with their friends and peers. However, it isn’t certain how safe Facebook is and how private your life will remain. According to McCarthy (2011), there isn’t as much privacy on Facebook as we think there is. Private information that we have on our Facebook profiles is accessible with the click of a button, this is because when we join a social networking site, we knowingly and unknowingly give out our personal information.
On the internet you might not know who the person you’re talking to is on the other side of the computer screen, but is that always a negative point. Research by Powell et. al (2003), has shown that people find it easy to discuss their mental health problems online (to strangers), rather than to people in their own lives. It is speculated that the reason for this is because the two users are strangers; therefore it is acceptable to share information about the status of your health, since they don’t know you personally and will provide social support.
As with everything else, there are negatives and positives of using the internet and social networking sites. Research by Papacharissi and Rubin (2000), found that people who avoid face-to-face communication and were socially anxious, preferred to use the internet as a communicating tool. To back this up, research was conducted by Sheldon (2008), in where 172 university students were asked to complete a survey about their Facebook use. Of the sample, 93% had a Facebook account and 7% didn’t. The average age of the participating students was 20, therefore making them part of generation Y. Findings showed that 47 mins in a day are spent on the website, 50% changed their profile every month and 19% on a daily basis with the majority of them having 200 - 350 friends. In relation to Papacharissi and Rubin’s research, it was found that students who were anxious about face-to-face communication used Facebook to pass time or not to be alone, rather than to make new friends and usually have fewer Facebook friends.
Research was done by Sheldon et al. (2011) in which 4 partially separate studies were conducted with university students, who were mainly Facebook users. The results of study 1 showed positive correlation between the frequency of Facebook use and feelings of disconnection with its users. In study 2, results showed that the relation of Facebook use and disconnection is facilitated by the want to cope with disconnection via Facebook and that the relation of Facebook use and connection is facilitated by the want to have positive experiences with Facebook. Therefore, it is derived that the feeling of disconnection may drive one to use Facebook and the feelings are satisfied when connection is restored. In the third study it was found that complete cessation for 48 hours had caused a reduction in connection, but not disconnection. The longer the cessation was, the more the use of Facebook increased during following periods of free time. This shows that the deprivation of Facebook, which led to a decrease in their connection, only led to additional motivation to log back in. In study 4, Sheldon et al. found that the disconnected participants had set a less ambitious Facebook reduction goal and did poorly even with a reduced goal. Therefore a significant disconnection provides a motive that only depresses the performance in a goal contradicting to that motive. The results of the study suggest that people aren’t governed by their restraints, but will take action in order to fulfil their needs. Facebook’s control over these young individuals’ lives is so great thus becoming ‘addictive’.
Although there might be negatives to using online media and social networking sites, there are many positives that come along with them. Many hospitals have websites which allow them to share information with the general public and increases their publicity (Sarringhaus 2011). Facebook, with its millions of users, allows these hospitals and health care providers to share information and stay connected with the general public. This is at a great advantage to these organisations and businesses as baby boomers have reached retirement age and generation Y are the newer recruits. Generation Y has grown up with technology and for that reason they are more comfortable in using technology than the retiring baby boomers(Crumpacker & Crumpacker 2007; Swenson 2008). Because of this they have the skill to multitask, as well as having a higher education than the previous generations (Fabian 2010;Crumpacker & Crumpacker 2007).

Cultural & Social Analysis

Generation Y is evidently the most influenced group by technology seeing as they have grown with it and even more so with the younger generation. However, this fact is starting to change as generation X and the baby boomers have followed in gen Y’s footsteps since technology has never been a large part of daily living as it is now (Sarringhaus 2011). Technology has become integrated in our culture but isn’t only restricted to the West. With the introduction of social networking sites, (such as Facebook) people all over the world can be connected at any given time (Sheldon 2008).

With technology comes negative and positive health effects, some more obvious than others. The positive health effects of technology are that it is a facilitator of health-related information and also aids the development of social skills of this generation (Koivusilta et al. 2007; Sarringhaus 2011). The negative health effects however, include gaming or internet addiction, aggressive behaviour as a result of violent games, damage or even termination of interpersonal relationships and other mental health problems (Koivusilta et al. 2007). A study by Koivusilta et al. (2007) showed that depressed adolescents used computers more than non-depressed adolescents but that playing video games was more common with non-depressed adolescents. Another point is that adolescents that played video games were healthier than those who played less. The reason for this given by Koivusilta et al. (2007), is that video games offer fun and pleasure and may also offer an outlet for depression as they are able to perform things in the games, that they couldn’t in real life and this leaves them with a sense of accomplishment. In regards to the former point, Papacharissi & Rubin’s (2000) research as well as Sheldon et al. (2011), agrees with this point, as these individuals see the internet and social networking as an alternative way to fulfil they’re interpersonal needs and to gain some connection with other individuals online.

Self-categorization theory aids in the further analysis of these individuals who feel disconnection and depression, and head to the social networking sites to acquire a connection. These individuals often seclude themselves form other people as they perceive that they do not belong to any social groups (Voci 2006). This means that they categorise themselves as being in the outgroup and become a stereotype therefore becoming an outsider (Hogg & Terry 2000). The procedure that is performed is, that these individuals try to depersonalise themselves in order to join the ingroup and thus following the norms and behaviours of the ingroup, and joining social networking sites such as Facebook (Hogg & Terry 2000).


Analysis of Artefact
I personally enjoy reading articles and watching videos on CollegeHumor and I chose this artefact because there was a lighter and amusing side to it. Facebook is a prime example of how an online social networking platform can become part of our daily lives. It has become so engraved into our social culture that whenever someone takes a photo they usually follow by saying “Don’t even think of putting that on Facebook” or when someone says something nonsensical it is followed by “That’s going up as my Facebook status”. This phenomenon surely happens in my social life, but maybe it’s just because I belong to generation Y. The artefact shows how Facebook breaks the wall between the online social world and real life social world. Examples of this are: the number of friends you have, the cooler you are, therefore it is used as a ‘coolness’ meter; mobile phones with Facebook are just a Facebook device that includes a “voice-chat” option; and that people don’t mind if Mark Zuckerberg knows where their grandparents live.
Working on this assignment I have learnt a great deal about generation Y, mainly in regards to technology and its impact on it. It is easy to underestimate a topic, or overestimate it, however for future references, I have learned, that it is always important to gather all the necessary research and not base my work on my own assumptions, even though I belong to the generation, and to look outside the box.


References
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Clark, L. S. (2009). Digital Media and the generation Gap. Information, Communication &
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Crumpacker, M., Crumpacker, J. M. (2007). Succession planning and generational
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Learning Engagement and Reflection

Gen Y- Social Media Fad or Revolution?
Subject: Reflection on Wiki
Message: Your artefact is simple yet interesting and informing and you carried this out through your wiki page. Your research along with your analysis was well done and the statistics that you have found really makes you think about how useful technology and social media really are and if they truly are ruining our minds and brains. As a side note, I also appreciated that you had large font with coloured titles, it made it even more pleasing to read through.

Digital Natives - The impact of technology on Gen Y.
Subject: The times are changing
Message: The artefact you have chosen is brilliant! It really highlights how foolish we can be online and how ‘Facebook obsessed’ people have become. It is concerning that we might end up being illiterate buffoons and our brains will eventually begin to rot. I particularly liked the research by Danah Boyd about people creating their online profiles for display to an audience; it really shows how people are becoming obsessed with creating a perfect online persona. During my research on this assignment, I also found the degree of which depression correlates with social media use interesting. It truly shows how much of an impact technology has on our culture and society.