In partnership with the University of South Africa (Bureau of Market Research (BMR) Youth Research Unit) the Film and Publication Board (FPB) conducted an exploratory research study on new media usage amongst adolescents. The study investigated the diffusion and adoption of different forms of new media such as the Internet and cell phones among adolescents. It found that new media have diffused at a high rate among South African
adolescents who are anticipated to continue to adopt new innovative media developments at a faster pace than adults. Increasing access to and enthusiastic usage of new media by adolescents proves that not only are they innovators in this area, but they are also changing their life styles to adapt to the new media and to use them to their own benefit. The importance of new media is beyond contention and will have an increasing impact on the lives of adolescents in South Africa, as well as on the information and communication industry. The most concerning
aspect, however, is the adequate protection of children from potential harmful exposure and other risks. The more access adolescents have, the more they will be at risk of receiving and being exposed to inappropriate material. Increased awareness and adequate measures need to be initiated for children to enjoy these new media and to be protected from potentially harmful exposure and experiences.
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