reflection on time capsule assignment

I commenced this assignment with the question in mind, are there differences in the way that generations think about internet and the media they access through the internet?


To answer this question I began by researching internet use across the generations. While initially interested in narrowing the scope to one media outlet such as Instagram or Snapchat, the research regarding consumption and behaviour led me to keep a more open-ended focus.


Initial research uncovered interesting usage statistics in regard to mobile phone use. With 74 percent of Gen Z spending more than one hour per day accessing the internet through a mobile device and 66 percent of Gen Y doing the same (Southgate 2017). As mobile phones are increasingly the primary method through which people connect to the internet these statistics cemented the change in plan to focus on a cross-generational glimpse into internet consumption and beliefs about internet consumption. As both generations are considered digital natives, I felt it would be interesting to compare and contrast their perspective on internet, how they use it, what they access it for and what they see it becoming in the future.


In addition to this research indicating that the socialisation of people holds a strong influence on future behaviour (Killian, Hennigs and Langner 2012), made the ability to interview people from the same household appealing. As I had ready access to two generation y’s and one generation z in my household, I conducted my interviews with one from each generation. The interview with my generation z daughter did not go as well as hoped. I quickly found open ended questions were not making sense to her, I had to move towards closed and leading questioning that while providing some insights and an interesting time capsule to look back on, was not as deep as I had hoped to gain.


Deciding which generation y to interview was then based on this as I chose the older of the two interviewee options to ensure a smoother interview.  The second interview was smoother and provided an interesting difference in the ability to more clearly picture a pre-internet world.


I feel that in order to get a deeper context for this assignment I would make the following changes. Find an older interviewee for the generation z, or potentially combine the interviews and record audio only to make a more natural environment and take some pressure off the interviewees. I would also expand the interviews beyond two and interview across the baby boomer and generation z / zennial brackets to further examine generational interactions with the internet.


Overall I feel that as a time capsule the project holds its own, but as a research vehicle it could have been vastly more successful with some simple tweaks to the preparation and execution.