No effect of different types of media on well-being


It is often assumed that traditional forms of media such as books enhance well-being, whereas new media do not. However, we lack evidence for such claims and media research is mainly focused on how much time people spend with a medium, but not whether someone used a medium or not. We explored the effect of media use during one week on well-being at the end of the week, differentiating time spent with a medium and use versus nonuse, over a wide range of different media types: music, TV, films, video games, (e-)books, (digital) magazines, and audiobooks. Results from a six-week longitudinal study representative of the UK population 16 years and older (N=2159) showed that effects were generally small; between-person relations but rarely within-person effects; mostly for use versus nonuse and not time spent with a medium; and on affective well-being, not life satisfaction.

Scientific Reports