Smart(phone) Cinema. iGeneration, Second Screen and Filmic Experience. An Empirical Case in Southern Italy
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“iGen” (or Generation Z, or Post-Millennials) (Twenge, 2006, 2017; Rosen, Carrier, Cheever, 2010) identifies a generation of teenagers and children, born between 1995 and 2012, which, since childhood, uses digital devices for communication, entertainment, learning. Digital media affect every sphere of iGen’ers’ social and cultural experience and impact, therefore, also on the forms of film consumption. In the post-media era, cinema consumption is part of a broader stream of media consumption, including online video, video games, TV series, videos shot with smartphones and other mobile devices and, in general, all that we can call ‘digital postcinema’. Our paper intends to investigate a particular mode of film (and television) consumption: the second screen (De Francisci Morales, Shekhawat, 2013; Atkinson, 2014; Filho, Santos, 2015; Blake, 2017). The term refers to the use of a second screen compared to the first screen (the screen on which the film is projected), in subordination or in synchronization or in a centrifugal function. The goal of this paper is to explore the ways in which iGen’ers use the second screen, starting from three research questions: A) How are mobile devices used to process symbolic meanings about movies and moviegoing? B) How does the smartphone compete with the film in contending the media user’s attention? C) How is the use of the smartphone different when iGen’ers watch a film in movie theater and when they watch it at home? We tried to answer these questions by collecting data through two focus groups made with high school students from the cities of Salerno and Benevento. The results presented highlight how the use of the second screen is a topic particularly interesting for contemporary Media Studies. On the one hand, in fact, through the paradigm of domestication, we can map concrete socio-cultural and media practices, linked to the second screen, through which iGen builds individual and collective identities, in the specific contexts in which Post-Millennials operate. On the other hand, the second screen represents a privileged observatory on the transformation of forms of hybridization between media, culture and society.
keywordsiGen; second screen; filmic experience; digital media.
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