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Following the yellow brick road - young adults' experiences of the information super-highway

Grant, Ian C. and Waite, Kathryn (2003) Following the yellow brick road - young adults' experiences of the information super-highway. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 6 (1). pp. 48-57. ISSN 1352-2752

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Abstract

This paper uses the metaphor of the movie classic the Wizard of Oz to represent the online experiences of young adults. Just like the twister that turns Dorothy's world upside, down the Internet has arrived to transform our black and white lives into the Technicolor hyper-reality of the Land of Oz. What are the consequences for young Dorothies of today when they explore the yellow brick information superhighway? Phenomenologically informed qualitative research was used to explore the Internet experiences of older adolescents and young adults. The findings identify, financial, temporal, social, logistical and emotional barriers and indicate that although the Internet is an intrinsic facet of young adults' lives, it falls well short of an obsession. The implications are that marketing practitioners need to pay closer attention to the genuine fears and concerns directed at the Internet rather than assuming that young adults' responses are enthusiastic and positive.