Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?

By: Sabatini, Fabio ; Sarracino, Francesco
Online social networks, such as Facebook, disclose an unprecedented volume of personal information amplifying the occasions for social comparisons, which are a source of frustration. We test the hypothesis that the use of social networking sites (SNS) increases social comparisons as proxied by people’s dissatisfaction with their income. After controlling for the possibility of reverse causality, our results suggest that SNS users have a higher probability to compare their achievements with those of others. We conclude that SNS can be a strong engine of frustration for their users.
Keywords: social networks; social networking sites; social comparisons; satisfaction with income; relative deprivation.
JEL: D83 I31 O33 Z1 Z13
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:69201&r=ltv
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