Publication Date

Summer 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Journalism and Mass Communications


Diana Stover


adolescents, cell phone, communication, computer, Internet, new media

Subject Areas

Mass Communications; Communication


To date, there has been relatively little research on adolescents and their new media use in school and at home. It is important to study this new media use because it can reveal much about how communication patterns are changing or evolving as adolescents incorporate new media seamlessly into their lives.

This study examined high achieving adolescents' use of new media at school and in their homes. Data were gathered at school through questionnaires and group discussion sessions. In addition, students kept diaries of all of their media use for one week.

This study revealed that high-achieving adolescents use new media as a daily ritual in their lives. They developed unspoken rules and norms for how media function in specific circumstances. They use cell phones, instant messaging, and social media such as Facebook because they feel these instruments are efficient and convenient. Their new media has begun to displace traditional media and time spent with their families. Adolescents, like the ones in this study, appear to be trailblazers in terms of integrating new media into their daily lives at school and with family and friends.