Young People and The Digital Age: An Investigation of The ‘Sociability’ of Teenagers In Lusaka.
Young People's online media consumption in Lusaka, Zambia has grown with the establishment of ICT clubs in schools and the integration of ICTs into the education curriculum. The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) in its 2015 survey notes that 89% of people in urban areas are active users of the Internet. ZICTA adds 71% access internet and social media through mobile phones and of the number, the highest age group of users is young people aged 15-18yrs. This paper aims at discussing the concept of ‘digital sociability’ and its influence on the lives of young people. A purposive sampling method is use in the study of 120 young people drawn from six schools in Lusaka. The study found that the mobile phone was significant in accessing social media platforms. The study results indicate that social media has changed ways young people communicate. The study highlights new ways in which young people communicate and the risks and opportunities therein. This study makes a scholarly contribution to the body of knowledge by giving evidence to understand the role that mobile phones and social media play in the sociability of teenagers online. Research on Internet Studies in Zambia has mostly concentrated on policy framework development and on a global scale literature leans more to presenting western (UK/US) perspectives. This study therefore, presents a global south perspective which is grossly under researched.