Assessment 3 · Uncategorized

Mobile Media and Teen’s Social Media Use

Assignment 3 Online Article

Name: Qinwen Li

SID: 470083787

Tutorial Time: Thursday 9-11a.m., Ms Fiona Andreallo


As Boyd Danah (2012) wrote, it is really hard to count how many hours exactly one is online everyday within 24 hours because one could search the wikipedia while having dinner or could check Twitter when wakes up in the midnight. Not mention the Sensis Social Media Report (2015) of Australia shows that there are over 52% of Australians using Internet more than 5 times a day and 79% of Australians access the Internet daily. Surprisingly, the numbers are rising fast in 2016, especially in daily access. The problem is these online time is random and objective, which couldn’t be count in the same way as we count one’s sleep time. It gives Boyd a feeling that we are now living in an always-on lifestyle. What contributes to the blur between online and offline is obviously the Web 2.0, which is push forward by The cheap processors, cheap network and cheap sensors together. Among them, the popularity of mobile terminals like smartphones helps mobile media become one of the most significant styles of social media.

Retrieved from Sensis database:

According to Duggan and Brenner(2013), the proportion of teen’s usage online is raised rapidly through the years. The Internet play an important role in shaping their behaviors. And scholars are always interested in studying different aspects of teens and Internet. One of the perspectives that shown in our reading chooses a particular cultural phenomenon of flash mob. It requires a bunch of people gather together in a single point and disperse right after performance in public. With the help of mobile media, this kind of events could be spread quickly and accomplished easily. But flash mob isn’t the only one who get benefits, the emerging of mobile applications shows the bright future of mobile media. So in this article, I am going to talk about the teen’s social media use in mobile media.
Core Concept of Mobile Media
In the reading of Understanding Social Media, the author gives a couple of examples of how mobile media is in used of common people, including a girl joined by a friend who saw her uploading a photo in a cafe, a boy giving out a signal that he was safe after an earthquake by playing a LBS game and a grandma lived intimately with her grandsons by using Facebook. He inserts that mobile social media is a global phenomenon and happens everywhere. It is the smartphones that become an important portal for social media. It combines the feature of social interactivity and locativeness which makes mobile media both immediacy and hypermediacy. It provides users with new media experiences and preserves the functions of traditional media. For example, ABC, the news app allows you to read news in words and video anywhere and anytime.
The use of mobile media also has an effect on the improvement of mobile technology. 2G to 4G, the speed of getting access to internet and the cost of a smartphone are just the outcome of the extension of mobile media.

Case Study
I am so proud to introduce you an application in China called Alipay. It is now most popular online paying methods in China. The idea of this application is to make paying easier by several ways including scanning the QR codes and sound wave. Also, it is so aggressive that it works with any common applications that you could imagine like paying for your electricity, taxi calling and buying a movie ticket. Not mention almost all the restaurants that could be paid in Alipay. I have even seen a granny selling fruits on the street hanging a QR code of Alipay on her blanket. It brought me so many conveniences that I didn’t have to take anything with me but a smartphone generally. Thanks to its mobility, now I still couldn’t remember bring cash or credit cards with me from time to time even if I am in a different country.
What’s more, it is always improving its technology. Last year, news came that Alipay is trying to make a part of individual as another kind of QR code. If possible, one doesn’t need to bring anything when paying for a vertified tatoo on left hand would be a unique substitute of QR code or account number.

Reteive from google image:
Alipay does affect the teen’s paying habit but more importantly, it tries to shape itself as a social media. The first step is adding friends. Once you have friends in Alipay, you could chat with them, transfer money to each other and see what they consume. However, social media is far more than friends. Convergence is a great trend of Chinese application design. For example, Wechat, the most popular chatting application in China, is devoting to contacting everything in one application. It is almost succeed as a social media. Therefore, it could explain why Alipay is so eager to develop its social function. It is a good idea to enhance the hypermediacy as a mobile media but what Alipay did last year turns out to be a failure.
It starts with a new function of ‘Circle’ which allows people gather only with same interests. But this is just what other mature social platforms like Facebook or Instagram are doing. No surprise, no followers. What Alipay doesn’t expect is that Circle becomes a place for selling sex within hours after launching . One basic rule of Circle is that only given users could post. I assume it is set in order to strengthen the relationship in social groups. The other rule is only one with high credit points could comment. This one also make sense. But it unconsciously encourage the communication between young lady and rich guy in these cases. With the aid of digital technology, for the first time users find a way to break the law. And it is also teenagers that become the focus of Internet crime.

Practice and Feedback
In this class, my group is trying to improve the social media of Sydney Conservatorium of Music. My job is make the calender of post as well as the example posts. I like one of our events in Snapchat called A Day of Player which is intend to display a player’s life by posting from 8AM to 8PM. According to research and the Con staff, Snapchat is more and more popular among teenager users. They are willing to share private life with friends in Snapchat. So we thought it could be a good way to launch brand publicity in daily news. Sending several posts of player’s practice or jogging in a day makes the Con behave like a friend of audiences. Besides, we are planning to send a post in Snapchat as alarm before the concert begins. These two functions could be achieved owing to the advantages of mobile media.
Teenagers like to chasing fashion. I believe they will keep being the main users of mobile media. Today, more and more applications are designed to adapt to mobile platform, including mobile games and other remediation of old media. The convergence will grown-up and the divergence as well. Just as what we do to attract more teenagers to the Con. Social media like Facebook will shoulder more responsibility of holding more services as other accounts will link back to Facebook account. Meanwhile, functional media like Alipay or Snapchat will developed in more specific ways to play to advantages.

In all, teens are so easily influenced especially facing the fabulous digital world. There are so many temptations accessible simply by a click of their smartphones. We need to take teenagers into consideration when design a new function or events organized on mobile media. The mistakes happened in Alipay gave us a chance to think twice in teen’s use of social media.
1.Boyd Danah. (2012). Participating in the Always-On Lifestyle. In The Social Media Reader (pp. 71–76). New York University Press.
2.Sensis Social Media Report 2015. Retrieved from Sensis database:
3.Sensis Social Media Report 2016. Retrieved from Sensis database:
4.Duggan M and Brenner J (2013) The demographics of social media user–2012. Pew Research
5.Center’s Internet & American Life Project, pp. 1–14, Washington, DC.See Paul Saffo, Sensors: The Next Wave of Infotech Innovation, (last visited June 1, 2007).
6.Zittrain, J. (2008c). Meeting the Risks of Generativity: Privacy 2.0. In The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It (pp. 205–206). Yale University Press.
7.Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (203). Social, Locative and Mobile Media Understanding Social Media (pp. 120 – 135). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
8.Bolter, J.D.& Grusin, R.A. (1999) Remediation: Understanding New Media (pp.3-50), Cambridge, Mass; London: MIT Press.
ALEX LINDER ( 2016, NOV 29) Alipay’s new social networking platform accidentally turns service into a ‘booty call app’. Retrieved from:


One thought on “Mobile Media and Teen’s Social Media Use

  1. Hey Qinwen, your insights and anecdotes into mobile media changing people’s lives was really thought provoking to hear and your analysis of social media usage by the younger demographics really interesting.

    Social media does connect the world in unimaginable ways and your story of a granny accepting mobile payments through ‘Alipay’ in China echoes the transformation happening in India, with players like ‘PayTM’ leading charge in mobile payments for vendors in lower strata’s of economy who are not active participants in banking nor social systems but these platforms acting as cultural intermediaries in combination with affordable smartphones is helping bridge those gaps and moving them up the socio-economic ladders.

    However, you do also rightly point out roadblocks during such transformational changes in society as in the case of people selling sex services when ‘Alipay’ tried to introduce the ‘circle’ feature similar to popular social media platforms. This raises issues of governance and use of underlying algorithms within the platform to monitor content that can be explored. For example, a video or visual containing explicit content would easily be flagged by algorithms whereas textual content is harder to be analyzed owing to difficulties in language interpretations and meanings as put forth by professor and researcher, Dr. Jonathon Hutchinson.

    I totally concur with you that developers of mobile media targeting teenagers should be considerate of their impressionable minds and suggest you to explore ethical and regulatory complexities in bringing your idea to life. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) work in the U.S and International Governance Forum’s (IGF) targeted work at global internet governance issues would be good places to start.

    Look forward to hearing more from you ~ Elisha.


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