Psychological Benefits and Detrimental Effects of Online Social Networking

Psychological Benefits and Detrimental Effects of Online Social Networking

Irem Metin Orta (Atilim University, Turkey) and Müge Çelik Örücü (TED University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4047-2.ch002

Abstract

With the growing prevalence of wireless communication technologies, social networking sites (SNSs) such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. have become an important venues for interpersonal communication. This chapter provides a detailed overview of the current literature on online social networking with respect to its beneficial and detrimental effects on psychological wellbeing. In particular, it provides empirical evidence for the associations of SNS use with depression, self-esteem, loneliness, subjective wellbeing, social anxiety, attachment, personality traits, and addiction. Furthermore, it identifies the characteristics of individuals who are more prone to social networking, and presents possible mediators and moderators playing a role in the relationship between social networking and mental health. The chapter overall provides a comprehensive guideline to parents, researchers, educators, healthcare, and communication professionals to the issue of online social networking from a psychological perspective.
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Background

Social networking websites (SNSs) have become important venues for interpersonal communication and relationships. SNSs are virtual groups where personal information via profiles are shared, meet with other people based on common interests, and contact with people by writing messages or adding them as friends (Krämer & Winter, 2008; Kuss & Griffiths, 2011). The history of social networking sites dates back to 1997, when individuals are linked via six degrees of separation (Boyd & Ellison, 2007), then, the society is viewed as becoming increasingly inter-connected. Without considering time and space, individuals connect with one another online and SNSs have become an important leisure activity for many people (Kuss & Griffiths, 2017).

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