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Well-being within the digital transformation age among university students : an exploratory research

Amazu, A.A. (2020) Well-being within the digital transformation age among university students : an exploratory research.

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Abstract:The digital transformation has enabled global societal and economic developments on a large scale, but insights on how the digital transformation affects our well-being are fairly limited. However, the relevance of well-being within a digital context is becoming increasingly proposed as a result of the progressive integration of digital media and technologies in many areas of our modern life. Within the scope of this study, potential influences have been investigated to what extent an individual is exposed in today’s digital environment and how these influences can pose an impact on their well-being. For this purpose, a theoretical framework was created based on literature, summarizing five aspects which include matters like Privacy and Data Protection, Online Safety, Access to information, Social interaction and Communication and Digital skills. Furthermore, the current exploratory study, adhered to a qualitative methodology and was commissioned by the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Moreover, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight participants in order to explore the experiences students make online and to discover how these relate to their well-being based on the theoretical framework. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Overall, six themes could be identified: 1) The COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to digital self-advancement, 2) The lack of control over own data creates feelings of uncertainty and resignation, 3) Negative events online are common and often formative, yet stimulate reflection, 4) The significance of digital skills and the perceived value of the digital transformation, 5) Various obstacles on digital well-being are encountered with individual strategies, 6) Reflection on own digital well-being and the need for digital awareness creation. The study was able to reveal that the digital transformation is valued by the students as an opportunity for independent education but that also distress is experienced by the rapid digitalisation processes around them. Further, students are using strategies themselves that can assist them to enhance their own well-being, as taking breaks from the digital world and that it also would help them if educational institutions were more committed to promoting digital literacy. Limitations were found in the small number of interview participants, the diversity and gender ratio within these. Strengths of the study lied in the richness and details of the interviews. Finally, recommendations for future studies are on the investigation of different age groups and other social strata and the attention on stress relief in enhancing well-being within the digital age.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/82553
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