Teen Content Creation in The Netherlands


After the international media meshing behavior of teenagers and young adults uncovered by researchers at OMD and Yahoo, and the teen content creation trends documented by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, The Netherlands joins the ranks of countries and regions in the world where a study has uncovered something that has been brewing for a long time (and remained invisible because we were asking the wrong questions about media use): kids, especially when online, make media next to, and increasingly more than, consuming media. In the Jaarboek Digitale Generatie by the Dutch SCP and other institutes, released today, shows 72% of teens experiment with alternate identities (avatars) online, and when producing media (maintaining an avatar is in fact a form of mediamaking, too) often forget the terms and conditions of web hosting sites, thus losing their copyright over photo's, videos, and other texts (co-) created online.

I am reminded of Bauman's remark, that asking the question 'what is my identity?' online makes sense, or comes into play, if there is more than one answer possible. Online, the range of possible answers is, well at least seemingly, endless. Also: online identity experiments seem much less consequential than for example offline. Extending this observation, one has to note that to an emerging (ageless) generation cultivating multiple avatars is just as 'real' as what is said about them in their passport. Your level attained in World of Warcraft, one's feedback score on eBay, and one's ranking at Slashdot will soon become resume listing material, further contributing to our age of endless representations...