HOW DO ADOLESCENTS LIVE THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA?
1 National Research Council of Italy (ITALY)
2 LUMSA University (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:According to the Digital 2023 Global Overview report, almost 60% of the world’s total population is using social media (SM), with a total number of 4.76 billion active users . The share of adolescents contributing to these numbers is impressive: US statistics in 2019 showed that on average adolescents spend 7h 22m everyday on the Internet , confirming that they are online “almost constantly” .
While the use of SM and its impact on people's lives have been extensively studied , what actually drives people to participate in SM is less clear . These dynamics have often been analyzed on the basis of a problematic or dysfunctional use of SM , and according to this research perspective, specific survey tools have been proposed, among which we mention UADI  and GPIUS2 .
The research work presented here does not address the psychopathological processes underlying the use of SM, but rather to the factors that drive adolescents to an appropriate use of them, according to an ecological system theory approach that considers participation in SM as a moment of a person's everyday life . The scientific literature is still scarce in this area and the studies are still in progress. A recent work suggests that participation in SM is encouraged by a kind of reinforcement learning (RL) driven by social rewards similar to the Skinner box model . Further research has focused on the role of network externalities  and motivation theory  to explain the deep involvement of people in SM.
Given the scarcity of assessment tools to evaluate how adolescents spend their time in SM, we introduce SmackNews, a questionnaire aimed at: evaluating how adolescents perceive the pros and cons of SM; studying adolescents' relationship with the Internet and SM; analyzing the social and psychological effects on adolescents due to extensive use of the Internet and SM.
Preliminarily, we present a mini-review of the scientific literature related to the tools that study how people live their SM, excluding tests and questionnaires that focus on addictions or dysfunctional uses.
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Keywords: Social Media, Adolescents, Human development, Ecological development.