Last month, our team officially launched a new project with Facebook that looks at technology use among teens in regards to their health.
“The purpose of the project is to advance our understanding of how specific interactions with technology, that we know are common among teens, how those interactions are linked to health and wellness”, explains Dr. Moreno.
The SMARHTeam frequently collaborates with other researchers on projects. Kole Binger, Associate Research Specialist, explains that these collaborations are part of Dr. Moreno’s philosophy on how to build a research team.
“[Dr. Moreno] emphasizes that if you are coming at something from one angle, you are not going to be able to evolve. The diversity of backgrounds on our team and the diversity of who we are working with is important to make sure we are getting all angles of a research question”, said Binger.
Previous collaborations have included academic research scientists. This is the first time that a SMAHRT collaborator has been an industry partner.
Aubrey Gower, Associate Research Specialist, believes that combining research and industry will be beneficial. Each of these entities have been conducting their own research for a long time, but when there is a similar interest, such as public health, the combination of research and industry can really benefit the public.
This project will study teens’ interactions with technology related to their health, which will build on previous research in these areas. Those other studies tend to focus on specific platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, to evaluate their relationship with adolescent health outcomes.
This project differs from those others because it allows the team to dig deeper, by taking a broader look into those interactions.
“Let’s not limit this to platforms, let’s look at specific interactions across different platforms and let’s look more broadly at elements of health and wellness”, explained Dr. Moreno.
This new collaboration with Facebook provides lots of opportunities for SMAHRT. The team is really excited to be working on this project. Binger is looking forward to gaining a better understanding of who may be affected by digital technology and what way they are affected.
Gower is eager to understand why teens and adolescents may use technology. “We usually analyze frequency, but we have yet to discover if using it provides something for teens. It’s so engrained in our lives so it must be providing something”, said Gower.
When asked what she is looking forward to, Dr. Moreno explained that after the data collection is complete and preliminary analyses are done, they will open the data set for other researchers. This open access will provide an opportunity for other researchers to ask their important questions, providing us the opportunity to learn even more.
SMAHRTeam members, Dr. Moreno, Kole Binger, Aubrey Gower and Anna Joliff attended the Facebook Youth Wellbeing Summit earlier this month in New York City, NY.