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social media

The use of social media such as Facebook, Xing or Twitter has become part of the daily routine for many people. Social media help people to maintain and extend their social networks. On social media, previously separate social contexts mix. At the same time, social media explicitly encourage people to share and comment on content. Social media thus change how and with whom people share knowledge. The junior research group Social Media investigates how social media change the professional exchange of knowledge and how they influence knowledge processes in everyday life.

For the professional exchange of knowledge, next to the (online) network, knowledge about who knows what in the network plays an important role. The junior research group investigates these processes on the one hand by questionnaire studies with users of business networks such as Xing or LinkedIn, on the other hand with online experiments. The results from these studies are relevant for the field of practice knowledge work with digital media.

The junior research group also started to examine knowledge-related Internet use in everyday situations and investigates, for example, how parents use smartphones to deal with stressful situations (e.g. seeking information, social support, distraction) or how voice-based digital assistants are used for knowledge questions. It also explores which competencies play a role in the successful use of digital media.

Team social media


Ambient Awareness

Most news on social media are only skimmed and not read attentively. However, regular skimming of such messages is by no means useless, but can help to develop so-called ambient awareness, an awareness of who is doing what and who knows what in the network. Based on preliminary work from the ERC project ReDeftie, the underlying processes and effects will be further investigated.

digilog@bw – Digitisation in dialogue: AI-based voice assistants as a source of information

AI-based voice assistants have spread rapidly and are playing an increasingly important role in the everyday lives of users. Owners can access a wide range of applications via voice. The assistants are also used for information search and thus provide an alternative to conventional screen-based search engines. The project is dedicated to the question of how voice assistants affect the search for and the evaluation of information.

Digital Media in the Everyday Life of Children and Adolescents

Today, children and adolescents experience a mediatization of their everyday life and grow up with a multitude of digital media. They live in households, of which almost all have mobile phones/smartphones, computers and Internet access. The project investigates how the enormous presence of digital media in the everyday lives of children and adolescents influences their psychosocial development and what role the surrounding social contexts play.

Informal learning with YouTube

The video-sharing platform YouTube is meanwhile the 2nd largest search engine. “How to…” videos can be found for almost any topic – ranging from make-up tips over solutions for software problems to reparing washing machines. These videos can provide an easy and cheap access to learning opportunities for everybody. How frequently are they used for informal learning and which role does the instructor play?

Overcoming cognitive and motivational barriers for networking: contact recommendation systems in professional settings

The project investigates which factors have a positive or negative impact on networking behavior in professional settings, and how these factors can be promoted or attenuated respectively. In addition to studying the influencing factors, an algorithm for recommender systems in professional social media will be developed. The project goal is to make networking on professional social media platforms easier, thereby helping knowledge workers with their work.

Parental Mobile Media use for Stress Management

Mobile media have become part of the everyday lifes of families and are used in various ways. However, current research still focuses relatively little on the use of media by parents. The aim of this dissertation project is to investigate how parents use mobile media such as smartphones to cope with stress and under which circumstances stress management with mobile media is successful.

Trust and sport consumption

Crises are frequent in sport, be they doping or poor performance. How do such crises influence confidence in athletes and ultimately the demand for sporting events? Most professional athletes and teams now have profiles on social media such as Facebook or Instagram. Do these more direct interactions with athletes (comments, likes) lead to a stronger bond that can mitigate the negative effects of a crisis?

Use of media to cope with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has drastically changed the lives of many people, causing uncertainty, stress and anxiety. This project investigates how people use social media, podcasts, news and entertainment to cope with these feelings. Additionally, we focus on how media use is related to successful coping and how media use is related to knowledge and preventive behavior.

Former Projects

graduation papers