Whitepaper The 'Appiness Project - Passive behavioural data fuses with surveys to reveal how internet and app usage impact on happiness

sonstige Whitepaper Medien / Mediaforschung

The internet has been hailed as a revolutionary tool for bringing peopltogether, sharing knowledge and engaging audiences. However, there have also been claims the internet has become addictive, increased social isolation and helped to spread hate. We wanted to find out whether connected technologies are overall beneficial or detrimental to our well-being?

Our research – in France, Germany and UK – combined a traditional online survey matching the happiness question wording of the official well-being surveys with passive tracking data. For the latter, we used our digital life board, for which our respondents agreed to have a software implemented on their smartphones, tablets and PC which tracks their online behavi

By combining the results from the surveys with the passive data, it was possible to answer questions such as “which websites do unhappy people visit”, “how much time do happy people spend on the internet”, etc.

The outcome of this research points out the differences in online behavior of happy and unhappy people. Not only do unhappy people spend overall 20 % more online, its purpose differs as well. Happy people use the Internet as a means of performing real life tasks: travelling, refurbishing their abode, taking care of their children. Unhappy people, in contrast, use the Internet as an end in itself: they spend significantly more time on social networks, on streaming and adult websites and are much more likely to feel trapped by the internet.

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