Bergen Media Use Research Group

Dis/connecting among Norwegian and Portuguese teenagers

Young people struggle with permanent online connection that is associated with their generation. Ph.d fellow Mehri Agai has studied teenagers’ affective relationship to connectivity and disconnectivity, and how it is socioculturally influenced by the media, family, and peers.

People holding phones
Robin Worrall, Unsplash.com

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As part of her Ph.d project on social inequality and digital disconnection among young people, Mehri Agai has published the article Growing out of overconnection: The process of dis/connecting among Norwegian and Portuguese teenagers in New Media & Society along with co-authors Ana Jorge, Patrícia Dias, and Leonor Cunha-Vaz Martinho.

The article reports on an interview study with 36 teenagers between 15 and 19 years of age from Norway and Portugal. Their findings evidenced how disconnection may arise out of a latent feeling of “disaffect” generated in the experience of the ambience of connected and platform culture as well as the media; or of the unavailability created by how teenagers spend their leisure time, which is influenced by families’ moral economies.

Teenagers have to perform affective labor in managing the different, sometimes contradictory, forces that converge in the experience of connectivity. Managing digital disconnection appears as an individual—but socially produced—moral obligation to self-govern, to which teenagers have unequal conditions.

Read the full article

Jorge, A., Agai, M., Dias, P., & Martinho, L. C.-V. (2023). Growing out of overconnection: The process of dis/connecting among Norwegian and Portuguese teenagers. New Media & Society, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448231159308