MacroWorld - International Publisher

Social Media Studies, 2016- Volume 2- Issue 2- pp.75-85

DOI:10.15340/2147336622972

 Original Article

 

Is Social Media for Everyone?: The Role of Social Capital and Communication Anxiety in Structuring Use of Social Networking Sites


[+] Author and Article Information

 

Received: 2015-08-16
Accepted: 2015-09-13
Published: 2016-01-20

 

This study examines how social and psychological factors—social capital and communication anxiety interact to shape individuals’ use of social networking sites (SNSs). Using the data of 568 college students in China, results show that both bridging and bonding social capital are positively associated with the intensity of SNS use after controlling for key demographic factors. Communication anxiety is positively related to the intensity of SNS use, and is found to moderate the effect of social capital, both bridging and bonding, on the intensity of SNS use. Although individuals use SNSs more intensively when they have more social capital, the anxiety to communicate weakens the positive relationship between the two. This study contributes to the existing literature where limited attention has been given to how social factors and its interaction with psychological factors structure SNS use

 

Keywords: Social networking site (SNSs), social capital, communication anxiety, moderation effect

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