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With the COVID-19 pandemic, the form of entertainment has moved to a more digital environment. With in-person venues becoming more and more scarce due to the surging of the pandemic, “the digital world continues to progress… more and more online”. Digital access has become extensively more important for the entertainment world.
When it comes to youth, the significance of technology and social media is very large. Through these platforms, youth can access resources and entertainment. In the current pandemic situation, this significance has become greater with the increased need of digital access. So just how important do entertainment and digital access relate to each other for youth?
First, when comparing youth’s opinions on importance of digital access and entertainment, the relationship appears that when entertainment is of importance to them, then digital access becomes a major importance as well. 0% of youth in Yellowknife thought entertainment was of high importance, which then correlates to their low importance in digital access. Meanwhile, in Moncton, 70% of youth thought entertainment was of high importance, which is backed by the higher amount of importance in digital access. From a variety of cities across the country, the correlation between the two attributes express similar results.
For most youth, the primary form of access is the smartphone. In fact, in a study conducted in 2018, 95% of youth possess a smartphone [Teens, Social Media, and Technology 2018]. Even before COVID-19, digital access was already something that could be considered as a necessity for youth. Now that many forms of offline entertainment are transitioning to the virtual world, which includes movies, concerts, and live events, the desire and need for digital entertainment is only increasing. “I’ve had to find, like, other ways to adapt, like through gaming or stuff like that. Like I talked to my friends online over the phone, stuff like that.” Since COVID will likely become a part of our daily life in the future, youth will have to adapt to their entertainment needs.
So, what kind of digital entertainment is youth interested in? Well according to a recent marketing survey given to around a 1000 youth about technology, this is the breakdown:
Most of the youth considered the mobile phone to be one of the major aspects of digital entertainment in their lives. With the combination of social media, almost three quarters of youth believe that the phone interests them the most. This is likely due to the fact that the cost of a prepaid phone can be as low as $10-15 per month, and also putting into account that the majority of youth have access to a mobile phone.
With this, a clear idea is shown that communities will have to adjust to the encroaching youth’s needs of digital entertainment.
** If you’d like to learn more about my opinion on entertainment and digital access, be sure to check out the podcast I recorded with my fellow Pivot Data Analyst, Qinhao Deng. Discussions are done around digital access and its connection to entertainment and good youth jobs.
Simon Fraser University
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