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Department of Communication and Media Research Media Use & Effects

Digital Meal Logo

Over 90% of Swiss yadolescents between the age of 12 and 19 use social networks on a daily basis. In doing so, they are confronted with an overwhelming amount of media content, which continuously confronts them with selection decisions. Depending on personal tastes and preferences, these selection decisions result in very different "digital meals", which can be more or less digestible.

While the providers of the social media platforms have detailed insights into the habits, preferences and decision-making processes of the users, these insights are largely denied to outsiders. Both academic research and the users themselves often lack the necessary data to analyze and scrutinize the usage behavior.

Purpose of the Project

The Digital Meal project, supported by the Participatory Science Academy, builds on the infrastructure of the Data Donation Lab at the University of Zurich and develops an interactive learning module for young people in vocational schools, baccalaureate schools and secondary schools. Learners are guided to obtain their own usage data from media platforms, formulate research questions, analyze their own data and compare it with their colleagues. This allows them to reflect on their own media use. At the same time, sharing the data with researchers creates the basis for novel insights into young people's media use.

The learning module will be developed in a participatory process with students, experienced teachers from the field of media education and researchers from the University of Zurich and will be available to all teachers and interested persons after completion. In addition to the technical tools for evaluating the data, the module will also include teaching materials, teacher comments, and teaching aids that can be used for general education classes, in the subject "Media and Information Technology," in special weeks, or as part of other vessels.