Revealing the complex relationship between social media use, social comparison orientation and optimism on health outcomes

Chris Gibbons, Sophie Murray-Gibbons

Research output: Working paper

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Abstract

The study assessed the influence of social media use (SMU), social comparison orientation (SCO) and optimism on wellbeing, mood and sleep quality. SCO is important because of the value of comparative information in SMU. SCO and optimism were tested as mediators between SMU and mood and wellbeing,and optimism as a moderator on the effect of SCO on mood. An online survey and correlational design were used with a convenience sample (n = 306). In terms of SMU, only passive Instagram featured as a predictor of anxiety. Optimism was the strongest predictor in enhancing wellbeing, mood and sleep quality. SCO was a predictor of adverse anxiety and wellbeing. Optimism moderated against the impact SCO had on anxiety, and optimism and SCO were mediators between SMU and wellbeing and anxiety. SCO adversely affected mood and wellbeing. Optimism predicted good sleep quality, and it functions by effecting how comparative information is processed. Understanding this better, in relation to SMU, is likely to promote healthier online interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • social media use, optimism, social comparison orientation, sleep quality, wellbeing, mood.

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