Subject 1 | Male | Age 55
Subject 1’s media use involves his iPhone and iPod. His phone is used primarily for work and general communication and he uses his iPod when he goes for runs. He doesn’t spend a lot of time in front of the TV unless there’s sport on or during dinner time. He is the main user of the family computer, used to check emails and play solitaire in free time.
Subject 2 | Female | Age 52
Subject 2 watches a lot more TV, particularly during the day. She also owns an iPhone in which she uses for messaging, calls and social media, as well as her iPad which she uses to plays games in free time.
Subject 3 | Female | Age 24
Subject 3 uses her phone a lot for social media and messaging. She also owns a laptop, mainly used for study and work purposes as well as Netflix. Although she owns an iPad, she rarely uses it anyone as most of it’s functions are available on either her phone or laptop. She uses an iPod when she exercises and she rarely watches her TV as most of her favourite shows are available on to watch on Netflix/her laptop.
Subject 4 | Female | Age 21
Subject 4 owns an iPhone, iPad, laptop, TV and iPod. She is another big media user in the household. Her phone is primarily used for social media apps such as Snapchat, instagram and Facebook and is regularly messaging and chatting online. Her laptop is used for study purposes and Netflix in which she connects to her TV to watch on a bigger screen.
Subject 5 | Male | Age 15
Subject 5 is the biggest media user in the household. He spends most of his time talking/playing online with friends on his Xbox and rarely leaves his room from the time he gets home from school until bed time. He uses his phone occasionally, but prefers to communicate with friends over the xbox. He also owns a laptop for school and homework purposes and a tablet to watch youtube videos of the games he plays. Similar to subject 1, he only watches TV when eating dinner or if there is a sports event on.
The Impact on Family Engagement
The household communicates a lot via media instead of actually talking face to face. For example, subject 3 describes she will usually get a phone call from another family member letting her know dinner is ready, or she will send a message to ask a question, even they are only a couple rooms away. Most nights the family will watch tv together during dinner but subject 3 admits they will also be on their phones at the same time, then they will move into their own rooms to watch/do something else they’d prefer.
Brooks 2016, pers. comm., 25 October