I conducted a pilot study on 28 teenagers in the New York City area, ages 12-18 in grades 7-12 for my theory paper. Through surveys and interviews, I found that the amount of time teenagers spend on digital devices and online communication is impacting their education, communication skills and civic awareness by decreasing their productivity in school, causing a lack of development in face-to-face social interaction and creating unrealistic impressions of the world around them. Digital media time takes up most of their day, and also takes precedent over important activities such as sleeping, eating and homework in some cases.
My World Now. After listening and learning about teenage media habits and sensing a need for them to use their online time more constructively, I decided to create “My World Now,” a website based off the interests and ideas of some of the survey participants, and some of my own thoughts. Instead of spending the majority of their time living a virtual life, I wanted to use the media to help them live life off the computer by informing them on current events, connect with like-minded peers and give them information on how to get active in their communities. The resources on the site allow the exchange of useful information, and help to organize their thoughts for the future.