Influence of social networking sites on life satisfaction among university students: a mediating role of social benefit and social overload
Purpose Social media experience a rapid rise in recent years and steep into almost every aspect of people's lives by altering their lifestyles and creating an impact on their wellbeing. The purpose of the present study is to examine the influence of SNSs on life satisfaction among university students by first exploring what are the key gratifications which motivates them to engage in SNSs and then focusing on the psychological outcomes including social overload and social benefit from using SNSs that affects life satisfaction among the university students. Design/methodology/approach Theory of social influence and uses and gratifications theory were used in this study to examine the motivations for using SNSs, and the impact of psychological outcomes associated with SNSs usage, i.e. social benefit and social overload on life satisfaction among university students of Pakistan. Partial least squares-structural equation modeling is used to analyze the data. Findings The outcomes indicate that the need for maintaining interpersonal interconnectivity, entertainment value and social enhancement value derives the students' participation in social networking sites through which they encounter social benefit and social overload. The presence of social benefit enhances life satisfaction while social overload results in decreasing life satisfaction of students. Using social networking sites influences life satisfaction in the presence of social overload and social benefit while there is no direct influence of social networking sites on life satisfaction was evidenced. Research limitations/implications The present study investigated the needs that drive the use of social media through the lens of UGT & Social influence approach. The other potential determinants of social media usage intention should be analyzed by employing variables of the other models.In this study social media was examined as a general platform used by the university students of Pakistan. In future researches the driving needs should be examined in the context of specific social networking sites. Practical implications The presented findings embraces the implications for the authorities of higher education institutions and policy makers as it provides the useful insights about student 2019s motivations and participation behavior in SNSs which would help in developing strategies for desirable results. Social implications Educational institutions can utilize the research findings by incorporating social media tools in the academic system, student's interaction with their mentors will lead towards enhanced involvement of students and intellectual skills along with upgraded academic performance which will positively influence life satisfaction of the students. Originality/value The scarcity of findings was observed in the local environment specifically in the context of SNSs usage and well-being of the higher education students. This study addresses the motivational factors of SNSs usage and their psychological outcomes simultaneously and focused on the investigation of social media usage drivers and its outcomes among the university students of Pakistan.
social networking sites, social benefits, social overload, life satisfaction