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Wednesday, July 13 • 13:46 - 15:15
[CANCELLED] What frustrates you? An empirical analysis of negative emotional consequences of social media use.

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Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
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 Dr. Anne Suphan, Hohenheim University, Germany

Social media allow users to keep and share social information and up-to-date news via pictures, posts, comments and messages. The minority of users are involved on interactive communication (Wise et al., 2010). Most of them consume non-interactive social content. These information, both interactive and non-interactive, are also a basis for social comparison, which in turn produces emotional consequences: positive and negative (Krasnova et al. 2013). Recent studies on social media use focus more and more on the negative outcomes like loneliness, jealousy, frustration and envy (e.g. Krasnova et al. 2013, Burke et al. 2010) and showed that these consequences in turn decreases life satisfaction. However, researchers have not treated the underlying reasons of negative emotional outcomes of social media use empirically in much detail.

The aim of this study is to explore the causes of a decrease in mood after using social media. The studies of Sagioglou and Greitemeyer (2014) show that the length of social media use determines negative mood. However, they do not investigate the underlying social content that results in negative outcomes of social comparison. Further, much uncertainty still exists about the relationship between interactive versus non-interactive social media use and emotional consequences. One explanation for that striking research gap – and perhaps the most important challenge of empirical investigations on that question – is caused by the biasof self-reporting measurement in the context of negative emotions.

To examine the sources of negative emotional outcomes of social media use 658 under-graduate and graduate participated in an online questionnaire. They were asked how likely they were to experience negative emotions. Students who state that they are likely to feel envious or frustrated were asked for particular reasons (e.g. When on social media Icatch myself envying how much of the world others have seen). On the other side, students who state that they are unlikely to feel envious or frustrated were asked if they could think of reasons (e.g. Many users report feeling frustrated and exhausted after using social media. What do you think cause these feelings? They notice how much of the world others haveseen.) Further, items of motives of social media use and use behaviour were asked.

Conducting descriptive and multivariate analysis, the results show that (as expectedby social desirability) only the minority of participants state to experience negative emotions after using social media. The results indicate that both envious and not envious users state the notice how successful others are as main cause of envy. In contrast, there are significant differences concerning the explanations of causes of negative outcomes between students who report to feel likely frustrated and those who are unlikely. Those who are frustrated state the waste of time as the most likely reason for the emotional outcome - others state that it is caused by envy. Last but not least, both emotional outcomes and their explanations correlate with motives for using social media and the specific use behaviour – especially people how use social media for social grooming activities are likely to have negative outcomes.

Future Work
The research design of this study is a first step to develop measurements in the context of negative emotions that overcome the bias of self-reporting. Further, it should be a first approach for a scale development measuring issues of social content that causes a decrease in negative mood.

  • Burke, M., Marlow, C., & Lento, T. (2010). Social network activity and social well- being. InProceedings of the 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems.New York, NY: ACM, 1909-1912.
  • Krasnova, H., Wenninger, H., Widjaja, T., & Buxmann, P. (2013). Envy on Facebook : AHidden Threat to Users ’ Life Satisfaction ?, (March), 1–16.
  • Sagioglou, C., & Greitemeyer, T. (2014). Facebook’s emotional consequences: WhyFacebook causes a decrease in mood and why people still use it. Computers in HumanBehavior, 35, 359-363.
  • Wise, K., Alhabash, S., & Park, H. (2010). Emotional responses during social informationseeking on Facebook. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 13, 555–562.

Wednesday July 13, 2016 13:46 - 15:15
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - LG02 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

Attendees (6)