Jean-Louis Marie

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Media Addiction and Political Participation in Serbia

Appearance of the Internet and its spread to 38.8% of world population from 1995 to 2013 indicate that new media bring significant changes to societies around the world. Features of new media such as interactivity and possibility to use it from anywhere anytime indicate the Internet may be highly addictive. Data point to increases in overall media use over the last 60 years. On the other hand, decreases in political participation are registered together with decline in socializing and active membership in professional organizations for the same period. Research is conducted through nationally representative survey in Serbia during 2013. All hypotheses of this study have been confirmed including main one, saying that increases in media addiction cause decreases in political participation. Those who have less confidence in future are bigger media addicts, those who fear about present and future are bigger media addicts, those who are not interested in politics are bigger media addicts, those who have less political knowledge are bigger media addicts and finally that low participants in elections are bigger media addicts. This study is limited to Serbia, while it would be useful to measure media addiction in all countries. New methodology introduced by this study should be improved. Results of further studies should be presented with 3D graphs.



Two aspects of technologically driven civilization are evident: availability of new media and interactivity. This study examines media addiction on three levels: purpose of use, medium of choice and online application utilized. Media addiction increases with those who use media for fun as opposed to individuals who use media for information; level of media addiction is higher with users of new media as opposed to users of old media; more interactive and less practical online applications such as social networks and chat are more addictive. When looking into nature of new and old media it is possible to conclude that media addiction may be related to number of senses grabbed by media and media features, such as live broadcasting and interactivity. This brings us to conclusion that future of media may be in employment of additional human senses in its use.