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Tokyo youth at leisure: online support of leisure outings


The Internet is not just for PCs anymore; it's going mobile, and it's doing so especially rapidly in Japan. This chapter presents a set of very suggestive findings on how online resources are used to support leisure outings among young adults in Tokyo. An extensive body of data was gathered from several studies in a large research project on leisure practices; we report here on initial findings of particular relevance to Internet use. While we began our fieldwork expecting to learn about a culture of using mobile phones as multipurpose Internet PCs, we discovered that they are still primarily used as interpersonal communication tools. Our young study participants, though largely recruited from an online resource, still see communication as the primary function of the mobile phone (or "keitai"), and did not make much use of available mobile Internet information besides simple lookups like train timetables. Our results also suggest specific patterns of leisure discovery (serendipitously), planning (via PC-based Internet search) and coordination (largely through email, often via keitai). Of particular interest is the strong emphasis we found on remaining in constant communication while mobile, and the apparent tension between engaging in this sort of "hyperconnectivity" and maintaining a sense of personal privacy online. While further work is clearly needed, many of the issues we uncover here should be of timely interest to a wide audience in the applied psychology community.


Schiano, D. J. ; Elliott, A. ; Bellotti, V. Tokyo youth at leisure: online support of leisure outings. In the Oxford Handbook of Internet Psychology, edited by Adam Joinson and Katelyn McKenna. NY: Oxford University Press; 2007.