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Revista Comunicar 69: Participación ciudadana en la esfera digital (Vol. 29 - 2021)

Jóvenes y redes sociales: Entre la democratización del conocimiento y la inequidad digital

Young people and social networks: Between the democratization of knowledge and digital inequality

https://doi.org/10.3916/C69-2021-07

Lucy Andrade-Vargas

Margoth Iriarte-Solano

Diana Rivera-Rogel

Deisi Yunga-Godoy

Abstract

El creciente acceso a Internet, dispositivos y redes sociales ha revolucionado los procesos de comunicación y democratizado el acceso a la información y la creación de contenido. Sin embargo, varios investigadores han mostrado que, si bien el acceso al Internet es fácilmente alcanzable, el mundo virtual es un espejo de la sociedad en la que vivimos existiendo inequidad digital. Varios estudios presentan evidencia de que el estrato social no afecta a la presencia de usuarios en las redes, pero sí afecta su uso y la creación de contenido, si bien se trata de estudios desarrollados mayoritariamente en contextos europeos y norteamericanos. La presente investigación explora el perfil socioeconómico de los jóvenes en el consumo y creación de contenidos, y el mundo virtual de los adolescentes en materia de desigualdades sociales encontradas en el mundo real. La investigación siguió un diseño cuantitativo exploratorio a través de una encuesta que fue aplicada a 2.115 estudiantes de educación secundaria y bachillerato de instituciones educativas de alto rendimiento de Ecuador. Los resultados dan cuenta de tres unidades de análisis: 1) razones de uso de la plataforma; 2) tiempo de consumo; 3) tipo de contenido que crean los jóvenes. En consonancia con estudios anteriores, se señala cómo el entorno socioeconómico tiene un efecto en cómo los jóvenes usan las redes sociales. Al mismo tiempo se muestra un auge en la democratización de los procesos de creación de contenido.

The growing access to the Internet, devices, and social media has revolutionized communication processes and democratized access to information and content creation. However, several researchers have shown that although access to the Internet is readily available, the virtual world is a mirror of the society in which we live where digital inequity exists. Several studies present evidence that social status does not affect the presence of social network users, but it does affect the way it is used and content creation, although it concerns studies that were mostly carried out in European and North American contexts. This research explores the socioeconomic profile of young people concerning the consumption and creation of content, and the virtual world of adolescents related to social inequalities found in the real world. This study followed an exploratory quantitative design by means of a survey that was applied to 2,115 high-school students from high-performing educational institutions in Ecuador. The results highlight three units of analysis: (1) reasons for using the platform (2) time of consumption (3) type of content that young people create. In line with previous studies, it points out how the socioeconomic environment has an effect on how young people use social networks. Similarly, it shows an increase in the democratization of content creation processes.

Keywords

Redes sociales, YouTube, participación, contenido, jóvenes, nivel socio-económico

Social networking sites, YouTube, participation, content, young people, socioeconomic level

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