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Are close friends the enemy? online social networks, self-esteem, and self-control

Wilcox, K and Stephen, AT (2013) Are close friends the enemy? online social networks, self-esteem, and self-control. Journal of Consumer Research, 40 (1). 90 - 103. ISSN 0093-5301

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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, the authors 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, the authors 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 has implications for policy makers because self-control is an important mechanism for maintaining social order and well-being. © 2012 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wilcox, K
Stephen, ATastephen@pitt.eduASTEPHEN
Date: 1 June 2013
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Consumer Research
Volume: 40
Number: 1
Page Range: 90 - 103
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1086/668794
Schools and Programs: Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business > Business Administration
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0093-5301
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2013 19:51
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:55


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