Digital Detox: How an Unplugging Challenge Affects Conspiracy Believers

30 March 2023

Professor Jolanda Jetten from UQ's School of Psychology featured in about her latest research on what happens when we unplug for 24 hours.

Our lives have become increasingly intertwined with the digital world, with social media serving as a primary means of connection and communication.

But what happens when we unplug from social media and the internet for 24 hours?

Professor Jolanda Jetten, Chongting Zhao and Belén Álvarez from UQ's School of Psychology  and Dr Sebastian Kaempf and Dr Frank Mols from UQ's School of Political Science and International Studies conducted two studies to explore the effects of unplugging from social media for 24 hours.

The first study involved a Chinese sample, whereas the second study used an Australian sample.

Participants in both studies were asked to abstain from using digital media for 24 hours, including the internet, online newspapers and magazines, iPods, video/online games, streaming services (like Netflix and Spotify), social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and all apps (WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.).

However, participants were still allowed to use traditional media, such as print media (books, printed newspapers), radio, and television, or their phones for regular calls.

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