The MIMIc Research The goal of the MIMIc research is to increase our understandings of what it means to grow up in a digital world. “Do youth mimic the lifestyles hey encounter at their social media walls and in entertainment fiction?” is a key question in the study and refers to learning which norms and beliefs youth adopt from interacting with media. The question is answered through three studies in which an adolescent can participate.
- The MIMic research team will first look at media that are popular among adolescents to understand the lifestyles that are promoted in these platforms. This research will study music lyrics (for instance the lyrics of Katy Perry or Drake), TV shows (for instance the popular series 13 Reasons Why), Instagram profiles of famous influencers (for instance the Kardashian family) and the Instagram and Snapchat profiles of adolescents. By looking at the subjects that characters in popular TV series talk about, the images that influencers post online and the posts that adolescents share in their social network we learn more about the subjects adolescents are confronted with when using media.
- The MIMic research team will next follow a group of youngsters aged 12 to 16 years old over the course of 1.5 years to see how grow-up in a mediated world. Three countries (i.e., France, Slovenia and Belgium) take part in the panel study. More precisely, adolescents are asked at three different time points in 2020-2021 to answer a survey online at their home. Adolescents are invited to participate in the survey through their school. In the survey, we ask about adolescents’ media diets and how adolescents think about themselves, their peers, their body, school results and sexuality. With the answers that adolescents give to our questions we learn to understand how media interactions play a role in growing up.
- The MIMic research team will lastly monitor youth to survey them on a day-to-day basis what the daily interactions with social media and popular TV shows mean. Part of the youngsters who participate in the longitudinal study are also invited in this diary study in 2021-2022. More precisely, adolescents are asked to complete a diary in the shape of a brief survey online at their home during 14 days. In this diary survey, we ask about how adolescents have spent their day and in particular focus on their daily media interactions. With this study we learn to understand why on some days youth benefit from spending time with media, while on other days their media interactions seem to be rather fatiguing.