Dear sir/madam, We are project MIMIc. Our goal is to broaden the understanding of what it means to grow up in a digital world. “Do youth mimic the lifestyles they encounter on their social media feeds and in entertainment fiction?” is a key question in this project and refers to learning which norms and beliefs youth adopt from interacting with media.
We ask this question in hopes of helping youth, such as your child, better navigate the complexities of a digital society and make the most of their social media use. We aim to accomplish this goal by conducting three different studies amongst adolescents across Europe. Below you can find some more information on what these three studies entail. If you have any questions on the ethical measures undertaken by project MIMIc to ensure the wellbeing of every single participant, we would like to direct you to the “Adolescent” section on this website, or the digital information sheet accessible on the online platform of your child’s school.
First, the MIMic research team will first look at media that are popular among adolescents to understand the lifestyles that are promoted on 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.
Next, the MIMic research team will next follow a group of youngsters aged 12 to 16 years old over the course of one year to see what it’s like to grow-up in a media-filled world. Three countries (i.e., France, Slovenia and Belgium) take part in this ‘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.
Lastly, the MIMIc research team will monitor adolescents, surveying them daily, for a period of 14 days near the end of 2021. The participants in this diary research will be a subset from the pool of participants from the longitudinal research. More precisely, adolescents are asked to complete a diary in the shape of a brief survey online at their home. 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.