Getting less likes on social media: Mindfulness ameliorates the detrimental effects of feeling left out online

Kai Tak POON, Yufei JIANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives Many people spend a lot of time on social media every day, but they may sometimes feel left out on these platforms (e.g., getting few likes or comments on their status updates). Researchers have shown that such experience often leads to psychological and behavioral maladjustment. However, relatively little is known about whether individual characteristics such as trait mindfulness may buffer these negative effects. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that trait mindfulness weakens the effects of feeling left out on social media on different maladjustment outcomes.
Methods In this study, participants first completed a well-validated measure to assess their trait mindfulness. By random assignment, participants were then exposed to an experimental manipulation of a social media experience, during which they received either one or five likes from 11 online interaction partners. Finally, their states of psychological distress, negative emotion, hostility, and antisocial tendency were assessed.
Results The results showed that trait mindfulness significantly moderated the effects of feeling left out on social media on these maladjustment outcomes. Compared with participants with low trait mindfulness, those with high mindfulness reported lower levels of psychological distress, negative emotion, hostility, and antisocial tendency after they had received little attention on social media.
Conclusions These findings highlight the important role of mindfulness in ameliorating the negative outcomes associated with feeling left out on social media. Copyright © 2020 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMindfulness
Early online date07 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 07 Feb 2020

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Social Media
Mindfulness
social media
Emotions
Hostility
Psychology
emotion
manipulation
experience
Buffers
Research Personnel
interaction
science

Citation

Poon, K.-T., & Jiang, Y. (2020). Getting less likes on social media: Mindfulness ameliorates the detrimental effects of feeling left out online. Mindfulness. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12671-020-01313-w

Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Social media
  • Cyberostracism
  • Maladjustment outcomes
  • Distress
  • Antisocial tendency