advertisement
12 December 2012

Social networking lowers self-control

Participating in online social networks can have a detrimental effect on consumer well-being by lowering self-control among certain users, according to a new study.

0

Participating in online social networks can have a detrimental effect on consumer well-being by lowering self-control among certain users, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"Using online social networks can have a positive effect on self-esteem and well-being. However, these increased feelings of self-worth can have a detrimental effect on behaviour. Because consumers care about the image they present to close friends, social network use enhances self-esteem in users who are focused on close friends while browsing their social network. This momentary increase in self-esteem leads them to display less self-control after browsing a social network," write authors Keith Wilcox (Columbia University) and Andrew T. Stephen (University of Pittsburgh).

Online social networks are having a fundamental impact on society. Facebook, the largest, has over one billion active users. Does using a social network impact the choices consumers make in their daily lives? If so, what effect does it have on consumer well-being?

Facebook and self control

A series of interesting studies showed that Facebook usage lowers self-control for consumers who focus on close friends while browsing their social network. Specifically, consumers focused on close friends are more likely to choose an unhealthy snack after browsing Facebook due to enhanced self-esteem.

Greater Facebook use was associated with a higher body-mass index, increased binge eating, a lower credit score, and higher levels of credit card debt for consumers with many close friends in their social network.

"These results are concerning given the increased time people spend using social networks, as well as the worldwide proliferation of access to social networks anywhere anytime via smartphones and other gadgets. Given that self-control is important for maintaining social order and personal well-being, this subtle effect could have widespread impact. This is particularly true for adolescents and young adults who are the heaviest users of social networks and have grown up using social networks as a normal part of their daily lives," the authors conclude.

(EurekAlert, December 2012)

Read more:

People with low self-esteem more prejudiced

 

More:

WomanNews
advertisement

Get a quote

advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Live healthier

Winter Wellness »

Boost winter health Happy feet in winter Don’t become a winter blimp

Tips to stay fit and healthy in winter

When it's cold it's easy to pick up the coughs and sniffles, and it's even easier to indulge in comfort foods. Don't !

Vitamin wise »

Vitamins for HIV What to eat for vitamin B? Cut down on vitamins

Get your vitamins right

Find out which vitamin to use for which condition. Ask our Vitamin expert.