Jongeren met smartphone

Social media and gaming

Nowadays, social media and games are a major part of the lives of young people; almost all youths between 12 and 15 years old have their own smartphone (more than 98%) and therefore have access to the Internet for a large part of the day. The use of social media and games has many advantages, such as being able to maintain easy contact with friends or peers and – in the case of games – practising problem-solving skills.


But the use of social media and games also has negative consequences. For example, it is difficult for some youngsters to stop gaming or not to respond immediately to messages on their smartphone. When the use of games or social media gets out of hand, when youngsters are constantly engaging with them, when young people cannot think of anything but social media or gaming and when their use comes at the expense of other important aspects of life such as school, sports, other hobbies or contact with family members, we consider the use of games and social media to be problematic.

The Digital Youth (DiYo) project focuses on questions related to the problematic use of social media and games. Why is it that some young people can easily stop using social media and playing games while others cannot? What exactly are the consequences of the problematic use of social media and gaming? What can parents and schools do to prevent young people from developing a problematic usage of social media or games? These are some of the questions that we attempt to address in the DiYo project.