Social skills via social media: challenges and opportunities of Instagram-based life skills interventions in adolescents
The coronavirus pandemic has intensified social and health inequalities but also the digitalization of daily life and human interactions. People need skills to deal with the challenges of a digitalized world with its opportunities, challenges and risks. This stresses the need and the potential for digital, social media-based interventions, which are scaleable, costeffective, flexible, have high reach and have shown to be effective in preventing diseases and improving quality of life. Life skills enable people to deal effectively with the challenges of everyday life and can be applied to the concept of media literacy. They therefore shall be fostered through a social media-based intervention program.
To develop a needs-based and evidence-oriented intervention, a literature review, conceptbased evaluation, and focus groups are combined: (1) A literature review identifies facilitators and barriers of social media interventions, (2) a conceptual evaluation of evidence-based life skills programs reveals their potential and pitfalls for social media, leading to an adapted intervention, which (3) 40 adolescents test and discuss in focus groups regarding user experience and usability. (4) Experts for youth development, addiction, cyber crime, and hate speech evaluate the developed program. Based on this adjustments are made. The program will then be tested in a pilot study with 120 pupil regarding user experience, school/program interaction, and feasibility. The effectiveness of the program will then be tested in a cluster randomized controlled trial with 1050 10th graders in Germany.