Why is it that the use of social media makes some adolescents feel happy while leaving others feeling blue? This week Project AWeSome, a new interdisciplinary collaboration between the Universities of Amsterdam and Tilburg, officially kicked off. The project’s aim is to answer this and other questions related to the effects of adolescents’ social media use on their wellbeing.
The project team consists of UvA and CcaM researchers Patti Valkenburg, Ine Beyens, Loes Pouwels and Irene van Driel together with Loes Keijsers of Tilburg University. The team is embarking on a journey to unravel individual differences in the effects of social media use on various aspects of the wellbeing of Dutch youth. AWeSome’s person-specific paradigm will help to reveal which positive or negative consequences of social media use hold for which individual adolescents.
Project AWeSome will incorporate theoretical approaches from the fields of communication science and developmental psychology. It will collect intensive longitudinal data, including survey, experience sampling, and physiological measurements. Advanced statistical modelling techniques will be used to analyze the short- and long-term effects of social media use on the wellbeing of each individual adolescent.
The positive connotation of Project AWeSome is meant to emphasize the potential helpful impact that the result of the project may have on parents, teachers, policy makers, and, last but not least, adolescents themselves.