Young Adults in a Wireless World
Settersten (Chap. 1) describes three hallmarks of young adulthood: the need to manage uncertainty, the need for fluid self-definitions, and the need for interdependence. We discuss the implications that rapidly developing technologies such as cell phones and social networking might have in these three areas. The Internet provides constant access to information but requires skills in use and evaluation that young adults may not have. Social media provide the possibility of niche-seeking, which could increase opportunities or stifle exploration. Cell phones and the Internet offer interdependence after leaving the family of origin, but may also hinder autonomy. Students use social networking to facilitate group behavior with real-world implications, as we show with an example of a student-constructed drinking holiday. Social technologies also have implications for family formation (e.g., meeting partners, establishing intimacy, and maintaining long-distance relationships). These technologies have the potential to widen or narrow the gap between individuals from different backgrounds. Finally, we suggest future research directions, including understanding whether (1) rapidly developing technologies lead to qualitatively new sociodevelopmental phenomena, or simply new forms of well-understood phenomena, (2) existing theories of development and family relationships can accommodate behaviors arising from new forms of social technology, and (3) technology brings with it new relationship forms, and what these forms might mean for development in young adulthood.
KeywordsYoung Adult Cell Phone Romantic Relationship Social Networking Site Social Connectedness
- Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2010). Class differences: Online education in the United States, 2010. Retrieved from the Sloan Consortium website. http://sloanconsortium.org/publications/survey/pdf/class_differences.pdf .
- Pew Internet and American Life Project (2010). Mobile access 2010 [Data file and code book]. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Mobile-Access-2010.aspx.
- American Red Cross. (2010, February 11). Red Cross raises more than $32 million via mobile giving program. http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.94aae335470e233f6cf911df43181aa0/?vgnextoid=43ffe0b8da8b6210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD
- Blumer, H. (1969). Symbolic interactionism. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Chadwick Martin Bailey. (2010). Recent trends: online dating. http://cp.match.com/cppp/media/CMB_Study.pdf.
- Combes, B. (2008). The Net Generation: Tech-savvy or lost in virtual space? Paper presented at the IASL Conference: World Class Learning and Literacy through School Libraries.Google Scholar
- Elias, M. (2007, February 7). Gay teens coming out earlier to peers and family. USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-02-07-gay-teens-cover_x.htm?POE=click-refer.
- Facebook. (2010). Company timeline. http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?timeline.
- Festinger, L., Schachter, S., & Back, K. W. (1950). Social pressures in informal groups: a study of human factors in housing. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
- Foderaro, L. W. (2010, September 29). Private moment made public, then a fatal jump. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/nyregion/30suicide.html.
- Gabriel, T. (2010, August 22). Students, welcome to college; parents, go home. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/23/education/23college.html.
- Haase, A. Q., Wellman, B., Witte, J., & Hampton, K. (2002). Capitalizing on the Internet: social contact, civic engagement, and sense of community. In B. Wellman & C. Haythronthwaite (Eds.), The internet and everyday life (pp. 291–324). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Hargittai, E. (2003). The digital divide and what to do about it. In D. C. Jones (Ed.), New economy handbook (pp. 822–841). San Diego: Academic.Google Scholar
- Higher Education Research Institute. (2007, September). College freshmen and online social networking sites (HERI research brief). http://www.heri.ucla.edu/PDFs/pubs/briefs/brief-091107-SocialNetworking.pdf.
- Hurtado, S., Sax, L. J., Saenz, V., Harper, C. E., Oseguera, L., Curley, J, Arellano, L. (2007). Findings from the 2005 administration of Your First College Year (YFCY): National aggregates. www.heri.ucla.edu/PDFs/2005_YFCY_REPORT_FINAL.pdf
- Ito, M., Horst, H., Bittanti, M., Boyd, D., Herr-Stephenson, B., Lange, P. G., Robinson, L. (2008). Living and learning with new media: Summary of findings from the Digital Youth Project. John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning. http://digitalyouth.ischool.berkeley.edu/files/report/digitalyouth-WhitePaper.pdf.
- Kahn, R. L., & Antonucci, T. C. (1980). Convoys over the life course: attachment, roles, and social support. In P. B. Baltes & O. G. Brim (Eds.), Life-span development and behavior (Vol. 3, pp. 253–286). New York: Academic.Google Scholar
- Lefkowitz, E. S., Patrick, M., Morgan, N., Bezemer, D. H., & Vasilenko, S. A., (in press). State Patty’s Day: College student drinking and local crime increased on a student-constructed holiday. Journal of Adolescent Research.Google Scholar
- Lenhart, A., Purcell, K., Smith, A., & Zickuhr, K. (2010). Social media & mobile internet use among teens and young adults. Pew Internet & American Life Project. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Social-Media-and-Young-Adults.aspx.
- Lum, L. (2006). Handling “helicopter parents”. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, 23, 40–42.Google Scholar
- Rhodes, A. R. (2002). Long-distance relationships in dual career commuter couples: a review of counseling issues. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, 10, 398–404.Google Scholar
- Rivers, I., & D’Augelli, A. R. (2001). The victimization of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths. In A. R. D’Augelli & C. J. Patterson (Eds.), Lesbian, gay and bisexual identities and youth: psychological perspectives (pp. 199–223). New York: Oxford.Google Scholar
- Rosenberg, G. (2010, June 1). France cracks down on pop-up drinking parties. Time. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1992982,00.html.
- Small, M., Morgan, N., Abar, C., & Maggs, J. (in press). Protective effects of parent-college student communication during the first semester of college. Journal of American College Health.Google Scholar
- Smith, A. (2010, July 7). Mobile access 2010. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Mobile-Access-2010.aspx. Accessed 10 Nov 2010.
- Taylor, P., & Keeter, S. (2010). Millennials: a portrait of generation next: Confident, connected, open to change. Pew Research Center. http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1501/millennials_new_survey_generational_personality_upbeat_opennew_ideas_technology_bound.
- Udry, J. R. (1971). The social context of marriage (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott.Google Scholar
- van Deursen, A., & van Dijk, J. (2008, May). Measuring digital skills. Performance tests of operational, formal, information and strategic internet skills among the Dutch population. Paper presented at the ICA Conference, Montreal, Canada. http://www.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/2/3/1/0/2/pages231022/p231022-1.php.
- White, W. S. (2005, Dec 16). Students, parents, colleges: drawing the lines. The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. B16.Google Scholar