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Digital well-being theory and research


Büchi, Moritz (2024). Digital well-being theory and research. New Media & Society, 26(1):172-189.

Abstract

Digital well-being concerns individuals’ subjective well-being in a social environment where digital media are omnipresent. A general framework is developed to integrate empirical research toward a cumulative science of the impacts of digital media use on well-being. It describes the nature of and connections between three pivotal constructs: digital practices, harms/benefits, and well-being. Individual’s digital practices arise within and shape socio-technical structural conditions, and lead to often concomitant harms and benefits. These pathways are theoretically plausible causal chains that lead from a specific manifestation of digital practice to an individual well-being-related outcome with some regularity. Future digital well-being studies should prioritize descriptive validity and formal theory development.

Abstract

Digital well-being concerns individuals’ subjective well-being in a social environment where digital media are omnipresent. A general framework is developed to integrate empirical research toward a cumulative science of the impacts of digital media use on well-being. It describes the nature of and connections between three pivotal constructs: digital practices, harms/benefits, and well-being. Individual’s digital practices arise within and shape socio-technical structural conditions, and lead to often concomitant harms and benefits. These pathways are theoretically plausible causal chains that lead from a specific manifestation of digital practice to an individual well-being-related outcome with some regularity. Future digital well-being studies should prioritize descriptive validity and formal theory development.

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38 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:070 News media, journalism & publishing
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Communication
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Communication theory, digital inequality, digital well-being, digitization, framework, media effects, research design, smartphone use, social media use, well-being
Language:English
Date:1 January 2024
Deposited On:03 Jan 2022 08:24
Last Modified:16 Jun 2024 03:46
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1461-4448
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448211056851
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)