Title

Do Facebook status updates reflect subjective well-being?

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

7-2015

Abstract

Nowadays, millions of people around the world use social networking sites to express everyday thoughts and feelings. Many researchers have tried to make use of social media to study users' online behaviors and psychological states. However, previous studies show mixed results about whether self-generated contents on Facebook reflect users' subjective well-being (SWB). This study analyzed Facebook status updates to determine the extent to which users' emotional expression predicted their SWBspecifically their self-reported satisfaction with life. It was found that positive emotional expressions on Facebook did not correlate with life satisfaction, whereas negative emotional expressions within the past 9-10 months (but not beyond) were significantly related to life satisfaction. These findings suggest that both the type of emotional expressions and the time frame of status updates determine whether emotional expressions in Facebook status updates can effectively reflect users' SWB. The findings shed light on the characteristics of online social media and improve the understanding of how user-generated contents reflect users' psychological states.

Discipline

Psychology | Social Media

Research Areas

Psychology

Publication

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Volume

18

Issue

7

First Page

373

Last Page

379

ISSN

2152-2715

Identifier

10.1089/cyber.2015.0022

Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2015.0022

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