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      Digital Wellbeing as a Dynamic Construct

      1

      Communication Theory

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          Mobile media support our autonomy by connecting us to persons, content and services independently of time and place constraints. At the same time, they challenge our autonomy: We face new struggles, decisions, and pressure in relation to whether, when and where we connect and disconnect. Digital wellbeing is a new concept that refers to the (lack) of balance that we may experience in relation to mobile connectivity. This article develops a theoretical model of digital wellbeing that accounts for the dynamic and complex nature of our relationship to mobile connectivity, thereby overcoming conceptual and methodological limitations associated with existing approaches. This model considers digital wellbeing an experiential state of optimal balance between connectivity and disconnectivity that is contingent upon a constellation of person-, device- and context-specific factors. I argue that these constellations represent pathways to digital wellbeing that—when repeated—affect wellbeing outcomes, and that the effectiveness of digital wellbeing interventions depends on their disruptive impact on these pathways.

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          Most cited references 110

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          Assessing subjective well-being: Progress and opportunities

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            A ‘components’ model of addiction within a biopsychosocial framework

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              On happiness and human potentials: a review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being.

               R Ryan,  E Deci (2000)
              Well-being is a complex construct that concerns optimal experience and functioning. Current research on well-being has been derived from two general perspectives: the hedonic approach, which focuses on happiness and defines well-being in terms of pleasure attainment and pain avoidance; and the eudaimonic approach, which focuses on meaning and self-realization and defines well-being in terms of the degree to which a person is fully functioning. These two views have given rise to different research foci and a body of knowledge that is in some areas divergent and in others complementary. New methodological developments concerning multilevel modeling and construct comparisons are also allowing researchers to formulate new questions for the field. This review considers research from both perspectives concerning the nature of well-being, its antecedents, and its stability across time and culture.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Communication Theory
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                1050-3293
                1468-2885
                October 17 2020
                October 17 2020
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication, Department of Communication and Cognition, Department of Culture Studies, Tilburg University, the Netherlands
                Article
                10.1093/ct/qtaa024
                797850ff-1577-4794-9916-332572ca75cd
                © 2020

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