Problematic Use of Social Network Sites: The Interactive Relationship Between Gratifications Sought and Privacy Concerns

  • Chen H
  • Kim Y
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Problematic Internet use has long been a matter of concern; however, few studies extend this line of research from general Internet use to the use of social network sites (SNSs), or explicate the problematic use of SNSs by understanding what factors may enhance or reduce users' compulsive behaviors and excessive form of use on SNSs. Building on literature that found a positive relationship between gratifications sought from the Internet and problematic Internet use, this study first explores the types of gratifications sought from SNSs and examines their relationship with problematic SNS use. It found that three types of gratifications-diversion, self-presentation, and relationship building-were positively related to problematic SNS use. In addition, with a growing body of research on SNS privacy, a moderating role of privacy concerns on SNSs has been proposed to understand how it can influence the relationship between gratifications sought from SNSs and problematic SNS use. The findings suggest that different subdimensions of privacy concerns interact with gratifications sought in different manners. In other words, privacy concerns, including unauthorized secondary use and improper access, play a more influential role in constraining the positive relationship between gratifications sought and problematic SNS use when individuals seek to build relationships on SNSs. However, if individuals seek to have diversion on SNSs, their privacy concerns will be overridden by their gratifications sought, which in turn leads to problematic SNS use. Implications of these findings for future research are discussed.

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  • Hsuan-Ting Chen

  • Yonghwan Kim

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