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Smartphones and online search: shifting frames in the everyday life of young people

Smartphones and online search: shifting frames in the everyday life of young people The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of smartphones among young people in everyday life, focusing on the activity of online search. This paper addresses the following research questions: What framings of the smartphone can be identified in the way that young people use, and describe, smartphones? What is the role of online search within these framings? By elucidating framings of the smartphone, this paper also seeks to discuss why and how smartphone use becomes contested in various contexts and situations.Design/methodology/approachThe material has been produced through ethnographic fieldwork. Focus groups and observations have been carried out with teenagers, age 13–16 years, in three schools in Sweden. In total, 39 pupils participated in the focus groups. Interviews, classroom observations and go-alongs have also been performed.FindingsIn this study, three framings of the smartphone are identified: the entertainment framing, the easy-access framing and the challenging co-presence framing. The framings highlight the way that both the smartphone and online search is viewed, and carried out, in various situations. The smartphone is primarily viewed as a tool for entertainment, by adults and young people alike, yet the findings illustrate that the smartphone is used for more activates than what is immediately apparent.Research limitations/implicationsThis study contributes to the field interested in bridging the gap between in-school teachings of information literacies and out-of-school activities by showing how online search happens in various situations. Also, to the field concerned with people’s use of general web search engines in everyday life.Originality/valueThis paper explores the relation between online search and smartphones, a topic which has not been in focus in previous research. The topics of online search and smartphone use have primarily been researched separately but are here researched in conjunction. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information and Learning Science Emerald Publishing

Smartphones and online search: shifting frames in the everyday life of young people

Information and Learning Science , Volume 123 (7/8): 20 – Aug 15, 2022

Smartphones and online search: shifting frames in the everyday life of young people

Information and Learning Science , Volume 123 (7/8): 20 – Aug 15, 2022

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of smartphones among young people in everyday life, focusing on the activity of online search. This paper addresses the following research questions: What framings of the smartphone can be identified in the way that young people use, and describe, smartphones? What is the role of online search within these framings? By elucidating framings of the smartphone, this paper also seeks to discuss why and how smartphone use becomes contested in various contexts and situations.Design/methodology/approachThe material has been produced through ethnographic fieldwork. Focus groups and observations have been carried out with teenagers, age 13–16 years, in three schools in Sweden. In total, 39 pupils participated in the focus groups. Interviews, classroom observations and go-alongs have also been performed.FindingsIn this study, three framings of the smartphone are identified: the entertainment framing, the easy-access framing and the challenging co-presence framing. The framings highlight the way that both the smartphone and online search is viewed, and carried out, in various situations. The smartphone is primarily viewed as a tool for entertainment, by adults and young people alike, yet the findings illustrate that the smartphone is used for more activates than what is immediately apparent.Research limitations/implicationsThis study contributes to the field interested in bridging the gap between in-school teachings of information literacies and out-of-school activities by showing how online search happens in various situations. Also, to the field concerned with people’s use of general web search engines in everyday life.Originality/valueThis paper explores the relation between online search and smartphones, a topic which has not been in focus in previous research. The topics of online search and smartphone use have primarily been researched separately but are here researched in conjunction.

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Cecilia Andersson.
ISSN
2398-5348
DOI
10.1108/ils-03-2022-0025
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of smartphones among young people in everyday life, focusing on the activity of online search. This paper addresses the following research questions: What framings of the smartphone can be identified in the way that young people use, and describe, smartphones? What is the role of online search within these framings? By elucidating framings of the smartphone, this paper also seeks to discuss why and how smartphone use becomes contested in various contexts and situations.Design/methodology/approachThe material has been produced through ethnographic fieldwork. Focus groups and observations have been carried out with teenagers, age 13–16 years, in three schools in Sweden. In total, 39 pupils participated in the focus groups. Interviews, classroom observations and go-alongs have also been performed.FindingsIn this study, three framings of the smartphone are identified: the entertainment framing, the easy-access framing and the challenging co-presence framing. The framings highlight the way that both the smartphone and online search is viewed, and carried out, in various situations. The smartphone is primarily viewed as a tool for entertainment, by adults and young people alike, yet the findings illustrate that the smartphone is used for more activates than what is immediately apparent.Research limitations/implicationsThis study contributes to the field interested in bridging the gap between in-school teachings of information literacies and out-of-school activities by showing how online search happens in various situations. Also, to the field concerned with people’s use of general web search engines in everyday life.Originality/valueThis paper explores the relation between online search and smartphones, a topic which has not been in focus in previous research. The topics of online search and smartphone use have primarily been researched separately but are here researched in conjunction.

Journal

Information and Learning ScienceEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 15, 2022

Keywords: Google; Goffman; Ethnography; Young people; Search engine; Mobile devices

References