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.

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 September 19, 2014 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 September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple's new operating system, iOS 8, comes with Apple's killswitch feature already activated, unlike all the models before it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Let's Review Apple's Latest iPhone Reviews

Let's Review Apple's Latest iPhone Reviews

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The tech press has shared its thoughts on the latest iterations of Apple's iPhone. We summarize the reactions to help you decide: iPhone 6 or 6 Plus? 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:
from the past week

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