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Generation Smartphone

This research project was investigating the significance of smartphone use in adolescents’ everyday life. Young persons have been included in the research team.

Adolescents and Their Smartphones


Within a short period of time, smartphones have conquered and permeated everyday life and the life environment of adolescents. In 2010 fewer than half of all 10- to 12-year-olds in Switzerland owned a smartphone; in 2014 that figure was already 95% (Willemse et al., 2014). The effects of the rapid and practically nationwide spread and intensive use of smartphones have not yet been studied. At the same time, the topic of adolescents and their use of digital media, and especially smartphones, is receiving a great deal of public attention.


The ZHAW Media Psychology section designed the qualitative research project ‘Generation Smartphone’ in collaboration with the FHNW School of Social Work. The aim is to study smartphone use and its significance in the everyday life of 30 adolescents in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

The qualitative data collected is being evaluated by the ZHAW Media Psychology section, the FHNW and eight adolescents. Participatory inclusion of the adolescents in the research team ensures that the opportunities and risks of intensive smartphone use will be assessed not only from the perspective of adults but also from the perspective of the young people themselves. The research project has been made possible by Mercator Foundation Switzerland.


Project leader