Digital leisure generates new social scenarios among young people

Mass media and the Internet

We approach entertainment in relation to mass media understood as cultural objects present in children and young people’s lives. We explore digital objects and communication networks focusing on specific ways of thought, expression, and communication when young people use multimodal codes. Moreover, we are interested in the beliefs and practices generated by young and adults around the Internet’s use.

The leisure contexts include culture, business, and the interaction of audiences with the cultural industries. What is typical of entertainment is that it is related to personal experience. Various components are present in these practices: producers, creators, promoters, and consumers. These factors influence the marketing strategies used by the cultural industries, which seek to interact with users and attract advertising for other products.

Our research analyses children’s activities as active participants when they interact with other people in digital context, as playing commercial video games or participating in social networks. The processes involved in entertainment are understood as interpreting texts from which people build specific meanings. From this point of view entertainment has been shaped by social, cultural, technological, political and other dimensions of human activity.

Looking at the future

Let’s have a look at some predictions about the entertainment and advertising tools in the next future. Studies come more often from marketing than academic approaches.

Entertainment practices move towards virtual reality (VR), streaming media services (OTT), and video games; 3D reality increases.  Cinema shows less presence than other digital media. Books seem to be abandoned, and the newspapers show negative growth. These data indicate that images are replacing written language as a communication tool in leisure situations.

Entertainment situations, associated with digital worlds, not only provide the ability to create simulated worlds but also to interact with real people in worlds with overall public access, as is the case of social networks. The construction of identity and how specific dimensions traditionally associated with public and private personality dimensions intertwine can be approached from multiple perspectives.