Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Multitasking acrobatics

Communication acrobatics study (by Kaisa Coogan & Sonja Kangas) was published in 1999 / 2001. We studied... 'the use of the Internet and mobile phones by 30 teenagers, aged 16 to 18. At the study's preliminary stage the young people's user patterns were looked at from the
perspective of group and individual identities, electronic consumer culture and future expectations. In the follow-up stage the focus was on deepening the thematic approach, as well as on the formation of, and changes in, user trends.'

One of our findings (in 2001) was that youth are already communication acrobats. The youngsters get quickly accustomed to the idea of a multi-use phone, and are starting to see it as natural that a mobile phone will become, among other things, a portable web terminal.

Also Internet was widely used at that time. chat, ICQ and Habbo (Hotelli Kultakala at that time in Finland) was already gaining popularity amongst youth. Our conclusion was that while communication acrobatics focus on knowhow and broadmindedness (and devices) multitasking would describe well the process of choosing between online discussion channels and other -- mobile, IRL or online -- communities. The youngers have different circles of friends at the IRC-gallery as they have in Habbo, IRC, mobile phone or MSN. [ The study was conducted by doing depth interviews and focus groups in Helsinki area Finland in 2000-2001. ]

I was happy to find research released jointly by Yahoo and OMD which highlight similar trends:
'Multitasking aided by technology extends most people's day by several hours. The average day now amounts to 43 hours' worth of activities. In an early Yahoo study that looked at women, an average day equaled 38 hours of activity. Activities include sleeping; working; commuting; and technology and media-based activities, such as e-mailing; using an MP3 player; text messaging; and watching TV.' [ The study was conducted by polling over 4,500 online families globally in 2006. ]

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