The impact of Internet and social media use on well-being: A longitudinal analysis of adolescents across nine years

Schemer, Christian ; Masur, Philipp K. ; Geiß, Stefan ; Müller, Philipp ; Schäfer, Svenja

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-579387
Document Type: Article
Year of publication Online: 2020
The title of a journal, publication series: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication : JCMC
Volume: tba
Page range: 1-21
Place of publication: Oxford [u.a.]
Publishing house: Wiley-Blackwell [u.a.]
ISSN: 1083-6101
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Humanities > Institut für Medien- u. Kommunikationswissenschaft
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Subject: 150 Psychology
Abstract: The present research examines the longitudinal average impact of frequency of use of Internet and social networking sites (SNS) on subjective well-being of adolescents in Germany. Based on five-wave panel data that cover a period of nine years, we disentangle between-person and within-person effects of media use on depressive symptomatology and life satisfaction as indicators of subjective well-being. Additionally, we control for confounders such as TV use, self-esteem, and satisfaction with friends. We found that frequency of Internet use in general and use of SNS in particular is not substantially related subjective well-being. The explanatory power of general Internet use or SNS use to predict between-person differences or within-person change in subjective well-being is close to zero. TV use, a potentially confounding variable, is negatively related to satisfaction with life, but it does not affect depressive symptomatology. However, this effect is too small to be of practical relevance.
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