IMG 6125The digital media landscape has grown increasingly complex, and with it, we have seen a new array of questions emerge. At CcaM, our scholars are often tackling these questions, particularly as they relate to young people's digital media use. For example, how do parents select apps for their young children? What motivates social media users to share private information, and what are the consequences of doing this?

Across two dissertations, Francette Broekman and Sophie Waterloo attempt to answer these questions and more. 

In the dissertationTap in, Swipe Through, Pinch Out: Understanding the Role of Context, Content and Child in Apps for ChildrenFrancette Broekman investigated app access and use among children aged 3 - 6. Using interviews and survey data, she first asked how parents select apps for their children, how different styles of parenting influence their considerations, and how child characteristics may also influence parents' selection of apps. The results of this work pointed to the important of design features in app selection, but did not highlight whether these design features may actually influence children's experiences with an app. To address this latter point, Francette investigated how design features in apps influence children's experiences using them. All told, the results of this work highlight the converging roles of context differences, content difference, and child differences when it comes to children's app access and use. This work was supervised by Professor Patti Valkenburg, Professor Hans Beentjes, and Dr. Jessica Piotrowski. 

In the dissertation Infinite Content, Infinitely Content: Self-Expression in Contemporary Digital CultureSophie Waterloo sought to understand what drives people to express personal information on social media platforms, as well as the potential consquences of this behavior. Specifically, she studied the expression of emotion and identity on social media with the aim of understanding what factors are predictive of, or potentially affected by, these self-expressive behaviours.  By comparing different platforms (facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp) and different attributes (private vs. public social contexts, for example) of these behaviours, this work highlights just how complex self-expression effects may be and that - although the user may do the sharing - the effects may be dependent (at least in part) on who saw the information shared. This work was supervised by Professor Patti Valkenburg, Professor Jochen Peter, and Dr. Susanne Baumgartner.

The public defense of both dissertations will be held on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at the Agnietenkapel. Broekman's defense will be held from 12:00 - 13:00. Waterloo's defense will be shortly thereafter, from 14:00 - 15:00. Both defenses are open to the public. 

A version of this news posting was originally posted by the University of Amsterdam