Co-creation report: Social media ‘on the go’

Social media ‘on the go’: An investigation into the generational gap a research project written by Harry Cutler-Smith, and co-authored with Dr Elvira Bolat.

The project’s main aim was to explore the influence of mobile social media has on two different age groups, identify the differences and similarities and fill the gap within academic research. The research studies found that age does impact the individual’s engagement with social media on the go on 16/18 hypotheses, both age groups expressed diverse opinions in relation to their ability and cautiousness when engaging with social media. Two studies were undertaken firstly, a focus group and then an online survey. These helped to collect invaluable data which concluded the project and supported the hypotheses.

The dissertation proved to be a ruthless assignment which seemed to have no end in sight. It was after Christmas that I realised how much work I had undertaken and how much was left, leaving me less confident in my ability to have it finished on time. However, receiving news that my bid for the CEL grant was successful, provided me with self-confidence and encouraged me to work as hard as possible to make the best out of the opportunity. Dr Bolat was a huge influence and proved to be a huge contributor. Without Elvira’s encouragement to submit my project to CEL I don’t feel I would be in the situation I am now; since then I have become much more confident and striving for new challenges. The grant money went towards my data collection studies, the focus group was catered and participants received complementary gifts for their input. The data collected via my survey required a fee to export the data from the website, an unexpected cost but the CEL grant helped cover this.

Being successful in my bid for the CEL grant gave me a realisation that other opportunities are also available to myself. Following on from the CEL award I have also participated in the SIAS summer camp, where I visited 3 major cities in China over 2 weeks along with 15 other selected students. My project was also shortlisted for the Academy of Marketing 2016 annual conference hosted in Newcastle, mainly due to its level of co-creation and constructive input from Elvira Bolat. My project was the only undergraduate dissertation selected, proving that hard work and collaboration between student and supervisor pays off.

From both the China summer camp and Newcastle conference I gained significant knowledge along with making contact with many academic and industry professionals. I am looking to start up a small distribution business in early 2017 as a result of contacts made in China. The co-creation approach to the project helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. From this I have accepted a place on a Masters course starting January 2017 as part of my new outlook to seek out new challenges in order to improve myself. In summary without the my CEL application being successful I don’t feel that any of the above events would have taken place.

Featured image credit: Alan Reeves (CC BY 2.0)

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