Just as a disclaimer… I am finding it hard to find articles directly related to my Inquiry topic of social media and mental health. This article is not specifically about social media but more about the internet itself and how it affects mental health.
Joiner R, Gavin J, Moon A, et al. Comparing First and Second Generation Digital Natives’ Internet Use, Internet Anxiety, and Internet Identification.Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking [serial online]. July 2013;16(7):549-552. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed July 10, 2014.
The aim of this article/study was to compare first and second generation Digital Natives‘ attitudes and their use toward the Internet. The first source generation that they surveyed consisted of 558 students in 2002 who were born after 1980 and the second source generation consisted of 458 students surveyed in 2012 who were born after 1993. They were asked to complete a questionnaire comprising of questions dealing with Internet experience, Internet anxiety, and Internet identification.
“We found that second generation Digital Natives had higher Internet identification scores and lower Internet anxiety scores than first generation digital natives. In fact, no second generation Digital Natives were classified as technophobic, whereas 21 first generation Digital Natives were classified as technophobic. Furthermore, second generation Digital Natives used the Internet more than first generation Digital Natives. They engaged in more activities on the Internet, and they engaged in them more frequently.”
In this nugget the survey showed that the second generation section not only used the Internet more, but felt a stronger connection to it causing less anxiety. Since the Internet was fairly new for the first generation, this caused more anxiety towards the internet turning some of them into technophobes.
“The finding that students’ attitudes toward the internet were higher for second generation Digital Natives compared with first generation Digital Natives was expected, and can be explained because of the ubiquitous and pervasive nature of the technology with which this generation has grown up. This explanation is supported by our finding that second generation Digital Natives use technology significantly more than first generation digital natives, and is also consistent with previous research. The other finding, which was less expected was the low use of Web 2.0 technology. Prensky and others had commented that these two digital generations would make considerable use of this technology. Our finding does not support this, and is consistent with previous research, which has also reported a low use of Web 2.0 technologies by students.”
Since the second generation grew up with Internet already a prominent part of life, they tend to use it more. What was interesting was that many students from the second generation did not use Web 2.0 as predicted. Web 2.0 is websites that let you interact with other parts of the web page or let you interact with other users on the web. This includes social media websites, Youtube, or other non-static websites. This is controversial considering how prominent social media is and how it affects lives now.