November 6, 2012 at 6:33 am #171991
Title: Are Close Friends the Enemy? Online Social Networks, Self-Esteem, and Self-Control
Authors: KEITH WILCOX, ANDREW T. STEPHEN
Online social networks are used by hundreds of millions of people every day, but little is known about their effect on behavior. In five experiments, we demonstrate that social network use enhances self-esteem in users who are focused on close friends (i.e., strong ties) while browsing their social network. This momentary increase in self-esteem reduces self-control, leading those focused on strong ties to display less self-control after browsing a social network. Additionally, we present evidence suggesting that greater social network use is associated with a higher body-mass index and higher levels of credit card debt for individuals with strong ties to their social network. This research extends previous findings by demonstrating that social networks primarily enhance self-esteem for those focused on strong ties during social network use. Additionally, this research also has implications for policy makers because self-control is an important mechanism for maintaining social order and well-being.
social networks, social media, facebook, self esteem, self control, tie strength, consumer behavior
November 6, 2012 at 6:34 am #171994
Additional Information and Commentary from AllFacebook blog:
Does Facebook Usage Lead To Obesity And Credit Card Debt?
Many times, when users are checking Facebook or surfing the Internet, they’ve also got a snack handy. But does Facebook make you more likely to be an unhealthy eater? A study that will appear in the June 2013 Journal of Consumer Research shows that while Facebook can boost self-esteem, it can also lower self-control at the same time, leading to dangerous behaviors such as binge eating.
Keith Wilcox of Columbia Business School and Andrew Stephen of the University of Pittsburgh wanted to test the effects of Facebook on users’ self-esteem and self-control. They studied two core groups of users: those who have strong ties to friends on their social network and those who don’t.
Wilcox and Stephen found that among users with strong ties to their Facebook friends, simply browsing the social network improved their self-esteem. However, the boost of self-esteem came with a caveat: lowered self-control.
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