Benefits and risks of LGBT social media use for sexual and gender minority individuals: An investigation of psychosocial mechanisms of LGBT social media use and well-being

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Abstract

There has been a proliferation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) social media platforms and users over the past decade. Previous studies have reported mixed effects of social media use on well-being, but less is known about the benefits and risks of LGBT social media use. The present study investigated different aspects of LGBT social media use and examined the psychosocial mechanisms of LGBT social media use and well-being. Among 610 LGBT individuals involved in the study, 488 (80.0%) were users of LGBT social media. Participants who identified as gay or lesbian, were higher educated, and had lower income, were more likely to use LGBT social media. On the one hand, the integration of LGBT social media into social routines was associated with lower levels of internalized stigma and higher levels of community connectedness, which were linked to better well-being. On the other hand, emotional investment in LGBT social media was negatively associated with well-being, and the association was mediated by internalized stigma and loneliness. The results demonstrated the beneficial and deleterious aspects of LGBT social media use. The findings have implications for developing interventions to promote social media literacy and establish healthy social media habits among LGBT individuals. Copyright © 2022 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107531
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume139
Early online date14 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Citation

Chan, R. C. H. (2023). Benefits and risks of LGBT social media use for sexual and gender minority individuals: An investigation of psychosocial mechanisms of LGBT social media use and well-being. Computers in Human Behavior, 139. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2022.107531

Keywords

  • Social media
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
  • Well-being
  • Internalized stigma
  • Loneliness
  • Community connectedness

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