Internet Use and Well-Being Before and During the Crisis in Europe
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The debate about whether Internet use increases or decreases subjective well-being is growing. However, previous studies rarely explore either this association at the time of financial crisis or the mechanisms by which contextual factors affect well-being. Using the four waves of the European Social Survey 2004–2010, this study examines the association between Internet use and well-being before and during the financial crisis in Europe which started in 2007. To understand how contextual factors explain individual well-being, we use multilevel model. We find that before the crisis, Internet use is not associated with well-being, in contrast with during the period of crisis. Beyond documenting the associations between Internet use and well-being, we find that using the Internet to respond to a situation of unemployment may help individuals for improved well-being. We also find that the density of Internet users in regions across Europe has positive and significant association with well-being. The results suggest that Internet use by individuals and the provision of the Internet access may be beneficial for maintaining well-being especially during the crisis.
KeywordsInternet use Well-being Crisis in Europe Multilevel model
We would like thank to Directorate of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Indonesia for providing funding, the original creators of European Social Survey and the Norwegian Social Science Data Services for making the survey available for free. We would also like thank to Sujarwoto, Devi Femina, Paul Widdop, Citra Jaya and Lindsay Richards and the anonymous reviewers for their help with writing this manuscript.
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