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The University will carry out research into mobile phone use, social interaction and digital well-being in young people with the support of the "la Caixa" Foundation

The study, which will analyze the habits of 240 people aged 18-25, includes an intervention aimed at reducing smartphone usage

/Charo Sádaba, Aurelio Fernández and Javier García Manglano, researchers at Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University of Navarra.

22 | 02 | 2022

The Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University of Navarra will develop a project of research on mobile use, social interaction and well-being selected in the call for research Social of the "la Caixa" Foundation.

The team, led by Charo Sádaba, dean of the School at speech and co-principal investigator of the ICS's group 'Youth in transition', also includes Javier García Manglano, Aurelio Fernández and Belgian researcher Mariek Vanden Abeele.

The project will analyse the habits of 240 boys and girls in Spain "through an innovative methodological approach in the social sciences in Spain: the Experience Sample Method (ESM)", says Charo Sádaba. This allows for the development of an experimental study with long surveys and an intensive collection of data through short daily questionnaires. In addition, the time employee will be recorded in different applications to obtain data on the use of goal.

The study includes the implementation of an intervention aimed at reducing smartphone use. "Based on previous scientific evidence, we have designed a set of six actions, including participants turning off non-essential notifications or answering less frequently to family and friends, prior to notice," he explains.

Optimal balance between digital on/off switching

"At 'Youth in transition' we understand digital wellbeing as an optimal and delicate balance between digital connection and disconnection," he emphasises. "We all need to find ways to reconcile online interaction with offline activities, including our social lives". He says the current study will shed light on these issues and "help to better understand the relationship we have with our mobile phones on a daily basis".

This research is complementary to a four-year longitudinal study on the relationship between digital consumption and well-being staff, which analyses data of 1,200 young people aged 18-22. Among other aspects, it measures the time employee spent on social networks, their context and the purpose of use (entertainment, escape, speech, etc.).

The project is supported by the Social Observatory of the "la Caixa" Foundation, through the call for research Social. This call supports projects that stand out for their excellence and that are based on quantitative data that provide, through an original and innovative approach , robust and solid information for an in-depth understanding of today's social challenges.