Brooke - 17

Brooke, Age 17

Media Consumption: 4 hrs 41 mins per day according to my tracker

Favorite Media/Technology: Instagram/ iPhone


How do you and your family interact with media/technology?

We don’t use social media when we are together because it is rude, but we do watch TV together. We really like watching The Voice because we talk about whether the acts were good or not during the commercials. I also use media like Skype, to stay in touch with family members who live in other states.

How do you and your peers interact with media/technology?

When me and my friends are not together we don’t really text that much. Instead, we just use Snapchat most of the time to talk to each other because you can do other things on it besides just texting. I feel like the setup of the app makes it feel more interactive and makes texting more fun.

When we are together we try not to be on our phones a lot, but there are times when we are all on our phones showing each other funny memes or videos. We try to have a ‘no-phone’ rule when we are out because we want to have conversations with each other and know what’s going on in everyone’s lives.

What do you use media for?

I use media for a lot of different things. I try to stay in touch with family and friends that live far away and I try and post pictures so they can see what I’m up to. I also like to use social media to keep up with celebrity news and things that are trending on the internet. Youtube is also really fun to use and it helps me to learn about new things. For example, I have watched videos on some conspiracy theories or different educational videos about a variety of topics. However, my media use is mainly for entertainment purposes rather than learning.

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about media/technology?

My least favorite thing: I tend to compare myself to other people mostly other girls. They'll post something and their stomachs all flat or like someone will be on vacation or something, and I just find myself like feeling bad about myself. It especially makes me really self conscious with my body. Even though there's a lot of body positive stuff I still find myself making comparisons.  Also, I find that it’s a lot easier for people who don’t like me to be mean to me on social media but don’t say anything to me in person which is really annoying.

My favorite thing: I enjoy seeing pictures of my friends and family and I like knowing what they're up to, and if they are having a good time. I also like posting things. I don't even know why I like posting things. But I always feel so satisfied after I post something.

“ I really like technology and media but I feel like I am always being judged by adults.  They make it seem like I have not experienced anything else in my life except being on my phone which is not true! I have a life outside of media and technology, but adults don’t seem to think so. They just say that my generation is just on our phones and that we don’t experience anything else. It bothers me because even if I didn’t have my phone I would still be finding something to do as a replacement, like something else relaxing and solitary. I know that there are certain experiences that you can't get on the phone, it's not like I've had a phone my whole life. I spend my time doing other things that I like to do. I play sports. I hang out with friends. I feel like I experienced enough to not feel like everything revolves around my phone.”

-Brooke


INTERVIEWED BY:

LAUREN MANFREDI

UCLA 4TH YEAR STUDENT

Dennis - 18

Dennis, Age 18

Media Consumption: 5-6 hours

Favorite Media/Technology: Phone


How do you and your family interact with media/technology?

My mom uses her phone a lot, probably more than I do actually. My parents don’t really check to see what I’m doing other than to tell me to stop playing games so much. Growing up I guess I had a lot of independence with what I do online and I mostly just played a lot of video games, but I also just occupied my time with sports, school clubs, piano, singing and tutoring classes.

How do you and your peers interact with media/technology?

I talk to my friends a lot online when we are playing video games because it’s just like hanging out with them, talking to them and doing an activity with them but in virtual space. We talk about school and what’s going on in our everyday lives.

What do you use media for?

In terms of social media, I mostly just use Reddit and YouTube. I also play video games like League of Legends, Civilization 5, and Minecraft and hang out with my friends online. I talk to my friends a lot over messenger too.

I don’t really use Twitter or Snapchat that often because I feel like while it is easy to trade Instagram handles and Snapchat usernames when you are meeting someone new, it seems more impersonal and is more difficult to create connections and build friendships over retweets and mass snaps.

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about media/technology?

One thing I really like about technology is that I am able to maintain relationships and connections easily without having to physically be with people all the time.

I think a bad part about the media is that prominent influencers like Jake Paul and RiceGum can promote sexualized content and glamorize the idea of having a lot of attractive women. On the same token, there are also YouTubers like PewDiePie that can positively influence kids.


INTERVIEWED BY:

GRACE ZHU

UCLA 3RD YEAR STUDENT

Emily - 7

Emily, Age 7

Media Consumption: Heavy, everyday use

Favorite Media/Technology: Tablet


How do you and your family interact with media/technology?

Sometimes we’ll go to an actual movie theatre, but usually we just hang out in our room and watch movies and shows on our tablets.  Me and my sister have our own tablets, so we just watch whatever we want. My sister likes to watch PJ Max and I like ASMR and unboxing videos. Sometimes I play video games with my dad which is super fun because we try and beat the monsters together.

How do you and your peers interact with media/technology?

All of my friends like to play with their tablets. Most kids in my class don’t have phones which makes me really happy because I would be jealous if everyone else had a phone and I didn’t. My parents said that I’m not allowed to have one until I go to high school! If I did have a phone, I would use it to text my friends when we are not together.

What do you use media for?

I like to download things from the app store like puzzle games. I mostly like playing games and watching stuff on YouTube. I watch different make-up tutorials where they do scary make-up, cute make-up, artsy make-up (i.e., use masks and glitter), sometimes even cat make-up (i.e., whiskeys, ears). I also have my favorite unboxing channels where I can see what kind of toys they have, like the Shopkins’ little secret.

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about media/technology?

My favorite game to play is Block Triangle! It’s a game that’s a little bit hard, but it kind of shows me clues. I’ve been stuck on level 19 for three weeks, but I just keep on playing it until I get the hang of it and get to the next level. My least favorite thing about technology is when I’m in the middle of playing my game and my tablet dies! So usually I just have to turn on the TV and turn to something I like, while my tablet charges.


INTERVIEWED BY:

JESSICA BERNABE

UCLA 3RD YEAR STUDENT

Lisa - 14

Lisa, Age 14

Media Consumption: Daily

Favorite Media/Technology: Instagram


How do you and your family interact with media/technology?

My parents, especially my mom, sometimes go through my Instagram accounts, but I don’t let them follow me online. Although most of the members of my immediate family have social media accounts, we don’t really interact with one another online. As a family, we sometimes come together to watch TV and movies which is kind of the only time that we have a shared experience with media. During this “family time” my parents don’t let us use our phones too much because it takes away from the shared experience.

How do you and your peers interact with media/technology?

My friends and I are always online. Pretty much everyone that I know has an Instagram account and logs on daily even if they don’t post much. Some of my friends and I have multiple accounts, a spam account where we can post whatever we want, and a main account where every post is carefully chosen. I usually interact with my peers online by liking and commenting on their posts or responding to their stories. I also like to send my friends funny memes or interesting things that I see online.

What do you use media for?

I use media for a variety things from communication to entertainment. I often use it to connect with my friends after school and during the weekend when we don’t see each other. I also like to follow makeup and fitness accounts because they always give good tips for self-care. A lot of the fitness and fashion accounts are helpful for me because I get to see other plus-sized girls wearing cute outfits that I could see myself wearing. I feel like seeing other girls my size looking confident in their outfits gives me motivation to add more variety to my wardrobe.

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about media/technology?

My favorite thing about technology is how it facilitates life. Practically everything can be done on my iPhone, from checking the news to ordering groceries, and it seems like nowadays there is an app for everything. My least favorite thing about media is definitely the fact that there is no privacy and everything you post online can be misinterpreted. You have to be careful about what you post because it can be used against you later or it can also lead to unnecessary drama.  


INTERVIEWED BY:

Bardia Helmi

UCLA 4th YEAR STUDENT

Henry - 13

Henry, Age 13

Media Consumption: everyday

Favorite Media/Technology: YouTube


How do you and your family interact with media/technology?

When I was really young, my parents taught me about Internet safety (e.g.,, not releasing my real name) and how to use the Internet properly. My parents showed me how to access the Internet for information and leisure by searching up things that I like on Google or they would watch interesting videos with me. They also have certain rules that I have to follow if I want to keep using technology. For example, I can’t use it too much and I can’t buy anything without asking them.

When I find something funny on the internet I like to show my parents and sometimes they show me stuff, like funny articles and Facebook or YouTube videos. I also like to help my parents use the internet. For example, I taught them how to create a playlist for songs that they like.

How do you and your peers interact with media/technology?

I'm pretty sure my friends and I use the Internet the same way. We think it’s entertaining and useful. My friends show me things that kids my age would watch and find funny, but when I show it to my parents, they don't really find it funny. I learn about videos and games when my friends start talking about them, and I look them up when I’m at home.

My friends think YouTube is cool and use it often. They show me what other people are watching and things that I wouldn't have known about or started watching on my own. Sometimes we watch the same videos, but most of the time they have different interests so they watch different videos. If I like a video and want to share it with them, I tell them the name of the video so that they can watch it. We give each other suggestions for things to do on the Internet by sharing videos, games, articles, and music.

What do you use media for?

I mostly use technology for school or leisure. For school, I mainly use technology to write and read books. For leisure, I watch YouTube or play games, usually on my iPad. YouTube is my favorite app. I browse videos and watch the ones on topics that I like: playing games, cooking, and weird stuff. YouTube teaches me what people think about the world and what topics people like. Let's say a video gets 1 million views – that means a lot of people are interested in that topic, so my friends and I are more likely to watch that video because it's trending.

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about media/technology?

I got scammed once. I was browsing YouTube, which keeps track of the videos you watch to make the ads about what you like (my dad told me that). I saw an ad that said I could get free, unlimited Robux [a digital currency on the online gaming platform Roblox] if I tried out three apps for five minutes. I did it but I never got my free Robux.

INTERVIEWED BY:

Catherine Trinh

UCLA 3rd YEAR STUDENT

Sunny - 18

Sunny, Age 18

Media Consumption: everyday

Favorite Media/Technology: Instagram

Sunny.jpg

How do you and your family interact with media/technology?

Technology is definitely useful for when my family has to contact each other. For instance, when I need a ride home, I can let one of my family members know via texting or calling. My family doesn’t use media frequently to interact with one another, though we do occasionally use Snapchat or Instagram to share pictures and videos. I can also easily contact my extended family who live in Japan by using LINE, a messaging app.

How do you and your peers interact with media/technology?

I use technology the most for interacting with my peers, especially my friends. I use a wider variety of social media to stay in touch with them. I believe many use social media to boost self-esteem. For instance, receiving likes and comments on my posts helps to boost my confidence and overall creates comfort in myself.

What do you use media for?

I use social media to increase awareness of the transgender community and break stereotypes that degrade trans people. I like to reach out to those in the LGBTQ+ community, since it’s harder to find trans people offline. I have also been recording my personal growth on Instagram, not only to see how I am changing, but to also help others find their true self and spread the message that being trans is okay. I want to be like the trans people on social media that I admire, because they had helped me out of the confusion of self-identity and discover who I am, and I want to do the same for others.

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about media/technology?

My favorite thing about social media is that I have the ability to be open about my identity and communicate easily with others. A downside is that though people have the ability to be open, at the same time they also have the ability to spread hate and stereotypes. Accounts on Instagram for people of the LGBTQ+ community are often targeted by accounts that spread negativity and false claims, hurting reputations of people like me.

INTERVIEWED BY:

Nahoko Naka

UCLA Graduate

Katie - 7

Katie, Age 7

Media Consumption: weekend mornings and sometimes a bit on weekdays depending on school, homework, and other extra-curriculars

Favorite Media/Technology: iPad apps like Animal Jam and Roadblocks and movies about dogs like A Dog’s Way Home.


How do you and your family interact with media/technology?

My mom usually she texts on her phone, but sometimes she uses her computer for work stuff and to look at pictures. My parents didn’t really teach me how to use my ipad, I just pressed a lot of buttons and then I eventually figured it out. My sister plays Roadblocks and Animal Jam and sometimes she shows me new apps she likes.

How do you and your peers interact with media/technology?

Friends show me new things to do and sometimes ads show you really cool stuff. My friend showed me Animal Jam and then I wanted to get it and then I showed my sister! I also use computers at school for art and coding.  

What do you use media for?

I love playing my favorite apps called Animal Jam and Roadblocks. In Roadblocks, there’s jumping and running. In Animal Jam, you have an animal and can move it around using your finger. You can also explore the whole world using your animal. At school, we use the school computers in the computer lab. There’s something called stop motion where you can make stuff. Also, there is a program called ‘star-typers’ where you put your fingers on the home keys and learn how to type fast! There’s also code.org which is like, fun coding.

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about media/technology?

I like the stories especially in dog movies. I like Buddies and I just saw A Dog’s Way Home with my mom. I liked it but...not certain characters. I don’t like the dog catchers in movies because they kidnap the dogs, and they have to go away from home and the people they love. In A Dog’s Way Home, the dog catcher was always being mean to people’s dogs, he just wanted money.

INTERVIEWED BY:

Brooke Cullen

UCLA 3rd Year STUDENT

Theo - 11

Theo, Age 11

Theo is an 11-year-old boy that was diagnosed with autism. He received his first iPad at the age of four and, in 2017 he received his own iPhone. Theo prefers to be alone, but interestingly technology has given him the opportunity to be more communicative and interactive.Theo’s mother provided the answers during our interview.

Media Consumption: Daily

Favorite Media/Technology: iPhone/Youtube


How do you and your family interact with media/technology?

During weekdays, Theo typically plays with his phone 1-2 hours after school and sometimes watches a movie after dinner in bed with his brother.  As Theo was the first child growing up with digital technology, I would often co-view and interact with Theo as he was engaging with technology.

How do you and your peers interact with media/technology?

Theo often prefers to spend time alone than with other. However, through media and technology he is able to be more interactive with others.

What do you use media for?

Theo uses media to help him interact with others and research information. When Theo was only a child he used to watch the same movies over and over again. So often, that he knew all the words by heart. In fact, he has developed an incredible ability not only to learn quotes from the movies he watches but also knows how to use them at perfect moments in real conversations. He can make everyone in a room laugh without noticing that what he said was funny. He just knows when and how to reply in social interactions using mostly what he learned in movies.

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about media/technology?

Theo’s favorite activity at the moment is to watch all kinds of videos on YouTube. Technology offers him the opportunity to explore different types of media while learning at the same time. Every time he learns something new that intrigues him, he will inform himself about it by watching YouTube videos on that topic. Thus, technology helps him to access information quickly without requiring face-to-face interaction.

“Bizarrely, his use of technology is the one thing he has in common with neurotypical children.”

- Theo’s Mom


Interviewed By:

Camilla Poli

University College Maastricht in The Netherlands 3rd Year Student

Mike - 13

Mike, Age 13

Media Consumption: only after finishing homework and during weekends

Favorite Media/Technology: Playing video games


How do you and your family interact with media/technology?

I’m only allowed to play video games on weekends but sometimes we are too busy that I don’t have a chance to play at all. When I do play on weekends, I play for about 10 hours throughout the whole weekend. My mom sets limits on how long I can play, and I am unable to play when my grades in school start to slip.

How do you and your peers interact with media/technology?

All of my friends and cousins play Fortnite. We always plan to play together. Video games, especially Fortnite, are the hot topic at school and it helps me stay connected with my friends. The games also allow us to have discussions about other topics such as music, clothing, and movies. Playing Fortnite makes me feel “cool” because everyone else plays the game.

What do you use media for?

I play video games to have fun and stay connected with my family. Media helps me to be socially connected to my friends and to those I see less often. It also helps to keep me entertained and gives me something cool to do with my friends.  

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about media/technology?

I like how entertaining video games can be. With Fortnite, in particular, I am able to pick my own characters and make them dance. I also like being able to play by myself or with friends and family. I don’t like the the violent aspects of Fortnite, but for the most part I find it very enjoyable and fun.  

Interviewed By:

Briana Nicole Southern

UCLA 4th Year Student

Milena - 7

Milena, Age 7

Media Consumption: 30 minutes on school days, 1 hour on weekends.

Favorite Media/Technology: WillHero (iPad game)


How do you and your family interact with media/technology?

Most of the time, I play games on my iPad by myself, especially WillHero! When I watch YouTube videos I usually watch those alone since they’re more for kids, like PBS kids, Ben & Holly’s little kingdom, and ASMR slime videos. I also watch a lot of Armenian movies and TV shows with my family, but we do that on the big family T.V. when everyone is done with work and school!   

How do you and your peers interact with media/technology?

My friends and I take turns playing games on the iPad when we hang out and sometimes we watch videos together too, like on YouTube. We also like making TikTok videos – they’re super fun and there are lots of videos that are made for two people to be in together which is even more fun!

What do you use media for?

I mostly use media for playing games and watching videos when I’m bored and not at school or my afterschool activities. Sometimes I use it for my art to find stuff to draw and color.

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about media/technology?

My favorite thing about media is that it’s so fun and that there’s so much I can do with it. I don’t get bored with it because there are so many games and videos I could watch, and even ones that I can play with my friends.

I don’t like when there’s no Internet when I try to watch videos in the car and also when games don’t load.  



INTERVIEWED BY:

Armine Ter-Barseghyan

UCLA 4TH YEAR STUDENT

Ashton - 14

Ashton, Age 14

Media Consumption: about 10-15 hours a week

Favorite Media/Technology: Online video games and Instagram

Ashton Levian.png

How do you and your family interact with media/technology?

My family and I do not interact very much with media or technology together. The very few times that we do usually involves watching a show together on Netflix. That said. my parents actively monitor my digital activities. For example, they ensure that my social media posts are appropriate, and they monitor the television content that I am exposed to.

How do you and your peers interact with media/technology?

My main form of digital interaction with my peers is through online video games, specifically, Fortnite. The game is less about winning for me, and more about interacting with my friends. I have even made new friends that I have not met in-person through playing the game. Aside from video games, Instagram and Snapchat also help me to stay connected with my peers. Sadly, it is quite easy to be excluded from social circles if you are not active on both social media platforms.

What do you use media for?

I mainly use media as a means of staying connected with my friends. We often use social media to get invited to parties and to invite other people to our own parties. I also use media to complete my homework assignments. They often require me to use a laptop and have access to the internet.

What is your favorite/least favorite thing about media/technology?

My favorite thing about media and technology is that it allows me to remain connected to my friends during times that I normally would not be allowed to hang out with them. For example, my mom almost never allows me to go out with friends during the school week, but social media and online video games allow me to stay in constant contact with them.

My least favorite thing about media and technology is how distracting it can be. Not only am I distracted by media when I am attempting to do my homework, but it is getting to the point where one form of media distracts me from another form of media. The constant feeling of “needing to stay in the loop” is what causes me to become distracted by media, and it can take quite a toll on my mental health.

Interviewed by:

Brandon Levian

UCLA 4th Year Student

Top