Academic journal article Journal of Development Communication

Information Seeking in the ICT Age: How Different Age Groups Respond to the New Phenomenon

Academic journal article Journal of Development Communication

Information Seeking in the ICT Age: How Different Age Groups Respond to the New Phenomenon

Article excerpt

During the last twenty years rapid developments in technology have led to changes in the way we work, play and learn. There is a kind of new revolution in the making, IT revolution. Castells (2000) notes that the current process of technological transformation expands exponentially because of its ability to create an interface between technological fields through common digital language in which information is generated, stored, retrieved, processed, and transmitted. Technology has become an integral part of society's everyday information environment. For the 'Net Generation' of users (born after 1985) technology is transparent and a part of their social, economic and educational landscape (Combes, 2006).

While information seeking behaviour remains a fundamental method for coping with our environment and day-to-day problems, the skills required to access information are becoming increasingly diverse and reflect the complexity of both the technology being used to store, retrieve and disseminate information and the multiple delivery formats. For students and youngsters growing up in the Net Generation, information seeking is a complex cognitive, physical and social behaviour that requires proficiency in a wide ranging set of skills that is constantly evolving. Successful participation in society for students and youngsters of the Net Generation will depend on their ability to navigate in a global knowledge economy where access and being able to use information to generate new knowledge are key attributes (Combes, 2006). More than half, about 53% of internet users are between the age of 18 to 44 (Jones and Fox, 2009).

However, the older generation of internet users, were not brought up in the same environment as their younger counterparts. This, in a way has put the older internet users in a tensed situation whenever they find themselves in an IT environment. In the beginning, the earlier internet users among the older generation had a phobia towards IT complicating their use and subsequent benefit to be derived thereof from its usage. However, things have now changed and the older generation are now using internet more for e-commerce including banking and shopping online (Jones, 2009). Members of the older generation are most likely to bank, shop, and seek health information online, according to Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project (Jones & Fox, 2009).

This paper will report the descriptive findings of the study on internet usage by Malays living in Kota Bharu, Kelantana, a semi-urban town in the North East of peninsular Malaysia.

Literature Review

There is a kind of new revolution in the making, IT revolution. Castells (2000) argues that the current process of technological transformation expands exponentially because of its ability to create an interface between technological fields through common digital language in which information is generated, stored, retrieved, processed, and transmitted. In the words of Castells (2000), "the IT revolution is as major an historical event as was the eighteenth-century industrial revolution, inducing a pattern of discontinuity in the material basis of economy, society, and culture". At the core of this IT revolution is the internet. The creation and development of the internet in the last three decades on the twentieth century resulted from a unique blending of military strategy, big science corporation, technological entrepreneurship, and countercultural innovation (Abbate, 1999; Naughton, 1999; Hart et al, 1992).

Jarvelin and Ingwersen (2004) discuss the research into information seeking and its directions at a general level. Their approach was by analysis and argumentation based on past research in the domain. They begin by presenting a general model of information seeking and retrieval which is used to derive nine broad dimensions that are needed to analyse information seeking and retrieval. Past research is then contrasted with the dimensions and shown not to cover the dimensions sufficiently. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.