Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Online attitudes predict individuals' compulsive and excessive Internet use and poor well-being

Date:
October 9, 2012
Source:
Clemson University
Summary:
Researchers are exploring how specific online communication attitudes -- such as individuals' tendency for online self-disclosure, online social connection, and online anxiety -- predicted their compulsive and excessive Internet use and, in turn, low sense of well-being.

Researchers are exploring how specific online communication attitudes -- such as individuals' tendency for online self-disclosure, online social connection, and online anxiety -- predicted their compulsive and excessive Internet use and, in turn, low sense of well-being.

Related Articles


Among the most popular questions addressed in online communication research is the extent to which Internet use leads to undesirable psychosocial outcomes such as depression and loneliness. Evidence suggests that certain motivations to communicate online can have negative consequences, as the Internet itself can, for some, serve as an object of compulsive use. Individuals' compulsive Internet use (CIU) refers to their inability to control, reduce, or stop their online behavior, while excessive Internet use (EIU) is the degree to which an individual feels that he or she spends an excessive amount of time online or even loses track of time when using the Internet. For those who are unable to limit their use, time spent online may produce negative outcomes such as depression, loneliness, and limited face-to-face contacts.

Mazer and Andrew M. Ledbetter (Texas Christian University) have an article published October 9 in Southern Communication Journal that explores how specific online communication attitudes -- such as individuals' tendency for online self-disclosure, online social connection, and online anxiety -- predicted their compulsive and excessive Internet use and, in turn, poor well-being.

Mazer and Ledbetter found that an individual's tendency for online self disclosure and online social connection led them to use the Internet in more compulsive ways. If a person has poor face-to-face communication skills that individual will likely be more attracted to the social features of online communication, which can foster CIU.

Prior research suggests that socially anxious individuals perceive online communication environments as less threatening and, as a result, are more likely to seek out communication in those settings. The findings from Mazer and Ledbetter's study are not entirely consistent with this claim, which may suggest that researchers adjust their theoretical image of the compulsive user: Whereas previous research frames online communication as a safe activity for the socially anxious to escape their communication anxiety, Mazer and Ledbetter found that compulsive users also experience anxiety when communicating online.

To the extent that socially anxious individuals are drawn to the Internet, such anxiety seems to stimulate compulsive, but not necessarily excessive, use. Rather, excessive users seem to have a more realistic perception of online communication as convenient but sometimes limited in communicative effectiveness by a lack of social cues often available in face-to-face interactions. In other words, according to Mazer and Ledbetter's study, individuals' anxiety motivates CIU, while efficiency seems to motivate EIU.

Mazer and Ledbetter found that CIU, not EIU, led individuals' to experience poor well-being outcomes. Given their widespread proliferation and adoption, especially among younger users, social networking sites now represent an important medium for maintaining social connections. Their existence raises important questions regarding individual traits that might influence online communication frequency and how excessive participation in these sites might foster compulsive and excessive Internet use.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Clemson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joseph P. Mazer, Andrew M. Ledbetter. Online Communication Attitudes as Predictors of Problematic Internet Use and Well-Being Outcomes. Southern Communication Journal, 2012; 77 (5): 403 DOI: 10.1080/1041794X.2012.686558

Cite This Page:

Clemson University. "Online attitudes predict individuals' compulsive and excessive Internet use and poor well-being." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009131507.htm>.
Clemson University. (2012, October 9). Online attitudes predict individuals' compulsive and excessive Internet use and poor well-being. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009131507.htm
Clemson University. "Online attitudes predict individuals' compulsive and excessive Internet use and poor well-being." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009131507.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sundance Films Tap Into Virtual Reality

Sundance Films Tap Into Virtual Reality

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — Virtual reality headsets offer more experiences for viewers and filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
No, A Google Exec Did Not Predict An Internet Apocalypse

No, A Google Exec Did Not Predict An Internet Apocalypse

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) — Earlier this week, a Google exec made headlines for saying "the Internet will disappear," but that doesn&apos;t quite mean what it sounds like. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tim Cook Made 8 Times Less Than Another Apple Exec In 2014

Tim Cook Made 8 Times Less Than Another Apple Exec In 2014

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — Tim Cook&apos;s total compensation more than doubled in 2014 to $9.2 million, but his pay was still less than four other Apple executives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins