We - at team MIMIc - want to help youngsters, such as yourself, get the most out of their media use. What this means is that we are committed to learning which elements from your media use help you or make you happy, and which don’t. In order to gain a better understanding of these things, we want to see how you and your peers use media. If you, like us, are curious about how your experience with media can be improved, maybe we can help each other out!
What do we do?
We are organizing research across three different countries (Belgium, Slovenia and France) as part of a European project led by Prof. L. Vandenbosch. We want to gain insights into the media that you and your friends like to use (12 to 17 year-old) and the type of content you often see. Our team aims to understand how adolescents, such as yourself, interact with these messages that appear on social media, television and in popular music lyrics, both over a long period of time and on a daily basis. We would also like to know if and how you post about yourself on social media (e.g., Instagram and TikTok). More generally, we would like to learn more about the relationship between your media use and how you and your peers think about yourselves, each other, your body, your school results and the world around you.
After our research, we would provide you and your school with a report. This report would include tips & tricks to help you manage specific difficulties that come with media. In that way, these reports will help you reap the most benefit from using these media.
As a token of appreciation for your participation in our study, you will be given an individual gift voucher (increasing in value as you participate in more parts of the study). In addition, there will also be lotteries to win additional vouchers. The tokens of appreciation are given based on the time you invest in the research. If you decide to revoke the use of your personal data after completing the research, the vouchers will still be given.
What about data confidentiality (your privacy)?
Confidentiality of identifying data will always be guaranteed. In other words, we promise that the information you provide us will remain private. The obtained research results will be used for scientific research only, these scientific reports will never contain any identifying information (such as your name or birth date). The data are used in agreement with the law (GDPR) and the strict rules set by KU Leuven, University of Tours, University of Ljubljana. You can find more information on the procedures and the confidentiality of the research in information brochures.
Our project consists of multiple studies. Find more information about each of them below.
The Time Study is the largest study. Here, we will ask a large group (4500) of students across Europe (Belgium, France & Slovenia) to participate. Taking part in this study is a requirement to be invited for any of the other studies.
If you participate in our Time Study, you will be asked to complete a survey on how you interact with the media at three different time points over the course of one year. These surveys will always be the same, because we want to see if and how your opinion on these topics evolves over time. The survey contains questions about your body, the importance of your appearance, school results, beauty ideals, sexuality, your media use (for instance social media) and how you think about your peers and the world around you.
The Diary Study is smaller in scope than the previous one. Here we will only ask a total of 3000 adolescents to participate.
If you are invited to help us with the Diary Study, we will ask you to complete a brief survey at home on how you interact with the media, every evening before bed. This survey will always be the same, because we want to see how your daily experiences affect how you feel about certain things. Completing this survey will take approximately 10 minutes, and can be completed by using a computer, a phone or a tablet with internet connection. The survey contains questions about your body, the importance of your appearance, school results, beauty ideals, your media use (for instance social media) and how you think about your peers and the world around you.
Social Media Study
The final study we will organize is a social media study. Just like the Diary Study, a smaller group of 1800 adolescents will be asked to participate.
If you are invited to participate in our Social Media Study, you will be asked to accept a friendship or follow request from a social media profile specifically designed for the current research. During the time of the data collection, the researchers will be part of your online network, similar to your other friends/followers on these networks. Next, the researchers will take screenshots to investigate the pictures, status updates and messages you post on your social media profiles. Only the researchers have access to the screenshots and will investigate them by calculating, for instance, the number of pictures on a profile before deleting these screenshots permanently.
Results of the research
If you participate in our research, you will receive a report presenting the most important results of the study every six months after the data collection has taken place. These reports will include the findings of the research, but also tips and tricks on how you can optimize your media interactions.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation, your help is greatly appreciated. Any questions? You can always contact the responsible researcher in your country.