Digital Stress

Permanent Connectedness and Multitasking

Authored by: Dorothée Hefner , Peter Vorderer

The Routledge Handbook of Media Use and Well-Being

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138886582
eBook ISBN: 9781315714752
Adobe ISBN: 9781317501954


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One rather dramatic change in people’s media-related behavior that has taken place during roughly the last decade is the penetration of everyday life by internet communication: Mobile devices and broadband connection give individuals – at least in industrial countries – the possibility to use the internet almost anywhere and anytime. Obviously, an ever-increasing majority makes full use of this option (Vorderer & Kohring, 2013). There can be no doubt that this permanent access to the (mobile) internet makes contemporary life easier in many respects: Users may look up the next train, bus, or flight connection, and they can check the weather and the latest news. They can quickly ask a friend for the recipe of a cake she had made the other day (in response she will probably send the internet link to that recipe), and they can monitor whether their children are online (and well). More than that, the option of being almost permanently in touch and together with others via the internet may provide users with a feeling of belonging and social support (e.g., Oh, Ozkaya, & LaRose, 2014; Valkenburg & Peter, 2007).

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