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iLeisure and youth
conference contributionposted on 09.11.2018, 00:00 by Margaret Hume
Leisure is a vital part of life with research indicating that satisfaction with leisure is an important determinant of quality of life (Lloyd and Auld, 2001). It is one of the basic human rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 24). Consumer expenditure for leisure may be as high as 25% of overall consumer expenditure in developed economies (Veal and Lynch, 2001). Leisure is strongly associated with youth and youth sub-culture (Passmore and French, 2001). Some have argued that, particularly in Western societies, leisure occupies 40% of young people‟s waking time (Robertson, Kent, Kaivola and Lee, 2008). Advances in the Internet, innovative technologies and interactive services (Sullivan Mort and Drennan, 2007), have allowed access to a continual supply of information, changed the nature of businesses and enabled enhanced leisure activities: in ways inconceivable even in the recent past. Current research (Dusseldorp Skills Forum, 2007; Vromen, 2007; OECD, 2006) indicates that interactive services are most likely to be utilised by young people, and with young people having less need for business and government service applications, their increasing usage is directed towards leisure. While there is a large body of literature examining the role of communication technologies in the shaping of contemporary society, relatively little attention has been given to the influence of technology on the organization and experience of leisure (Bryce, 2000). In particular, there is little research addressing the recent advanced internet facilitated interactive leisure services and implications for quality of life for young people. The purpose of this paper is to offer a brief overview of the extant literature and offer set of propositions of the relationship of consumption of online leisure and quality of life for young people. Australian consumers have had access to affordable dial up services (Clarke, 2004) since the 1990s. The recent influx of accessible broadband services has changed the dynamics of online consumption patterns with large-scale deployments and the reduction of prices of broadband services contributing to the shift away from dial up to broadband technologies (ABS, 2008; The Broadband Advisory Group, 2003; ACCC, 2006). This increased access to Broadband has led to accessibility of the Internet beyond the educational and work environment. Recent statistics found 74% of households within Australia have readily accessible technology available within the home (ABS, 2008). With this number of households using the Internet and Broadband technology, understanding the characteristics of the typical youth consumers using Broadband capabilities and applications accessed from home, and the impact of applications with faster download capabilities, is paramount for the development of knowledge regarding youth online leisure.