“I don’t have a lot of time to spend with technology. If I’m not watching sports or playing games, I’d rather be talking to people.”
Smartphone: Juan owns a cheap Samsung Android smartphone with a limited data plan. His parents got the phones on a family plan so that they could be in touch with Juan or each other at any time.
Gaming Console: Juan got a used Nintendo 2DS XL from one of his high school friends. Juan and his friends from school exchange games with each other frequently.
Tablet: Juan got an iPad in his school’s 1:1 initiative (a school initiative in which each child gets a device). He uses it exclusively for schoolwork, homework, and downloading school resources. He has to turn it in at the end of the school year, so he’s treating it very carefully. He says it doesn’t feel like “his,” and he is afraid that he’ll get in trouble if he breaks it or downloads the wrong thing accidentally.
Juan has limited connectivity – a small data plan and no home internet, so he mostly uses the internet at school and at the restaurant where he works.
Juan has Facebook and Twitter accounts that he seldom uses because of the limited data plan. However, he browses Instagram and Snapchat a few times a week when he has internet connectivity at work or school because most of his friends and school peers are active on those platforms. He rarely browses social media or posts anything while he’s at home because his parents complain that their data plan is too limited for this heavy use. Since he sees his friends most days of the week, he usually just tells them his news.
Juan uses Google products such as the search engine, mail (i.e., Gmail), Google Docs, and Google Sheets, all of which were pre-installed on his iPad, to complete school assignments. The iPad has a 3G chip that will get him internet services, but his teacher told him that all his internet activity is monitored by the school, so he uses this only for schoolwork and not for any personal searches.
Juan also uses his smartphone to browse gaming sites to find cheat codes, and strategies on how to advance past certain difficult levels in the games he played on his Nintendo 2DS XL. He spends some time also on the web searching for and reading about new releases of games he would like to own or play.
I don’t really have the time. When I’m not in school or working, I want to enjoy myself. I don’t want to sit in front of a computer reading all day!
Because of Juan’s family limited data plan and his close contact with his friends, Juan hasn’t developed a social media habit. Even away from home, his internet use is purpose-oriented. If he’s bored, he’ll play games rather than read social media.
Juan wants to make a positive contribution to his family, which is why he spends more of his time at work than doing his homework. When he is home from work or school, his eyes are glued to his gaming device, and if there a soccer match, he can be found watching the game in a neighbor’s house. Juan’s iPad provides internet access for completing his school assignments. However, he clearly prefers the first source he finds rather than searching for the best sources to complete his schoolwork.
At this point, Juan’s information needs are restricted to what he needs to do for school and his personal interests (soccer and gaming). He exchanges text messages with his family and friends and occasionally exchanges texts with his supervisor at work.