Information Systems Faculty Publications and Presentations

WhatsApp social media addiction and mental health: mindfulness and healing use interventions

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Although past research has documented the effects of social media addiction on mental health, it remains unclear how and when such impacts occur. To fill this gap, we investigate the intervening mechanism of mindfulness and the moderating role of healing use for social media addiction’s impact on depression through the lens of the conservation of resources theory and the attentional bias perspective. Analysis of data collected from 198 employees reveals that social media addiction (1) depletes the energy resources necessary to reduce depression and (2) consumes attentional resources and directs an individual’s attention to the salient activities that feed addictive use, leaving individuals with less attentional resources to devote to activities that promote mental health. Interestingly, social media’s healing use reduces the harmful effects of social media addiction on depression. This research contributes key practical and theoretical insights to aid decision-makers and set an agenda for future research.


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Publication Title

Behaviour & Information Technology