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Social media has transformed the nature of communication and simultaneously given rise to paradoxes—irresolvable situations where contradictory elements co-exist. These paradoxes are pervasive, and they can jeopardize consumer welfare because they are difficult to navigate. In this conceptual paper, we argue that the principles of wisdom provide a unique and constructive lens through which to view the social media landscape with the aim of maximizing well-being. We illustrate three social media paradoxes at individual, interpersonal, and societal levels of analysis. We also translate wisdom theory into practical recommendations for consumers, marketers, and public policy makers to facilitate wiser use of social media. Finally, we propose avenues for future transformative consumer research on how wisdom can help consumers to fruitfully approach paradoxes in the context of social media and beyond.


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Journal of Consumer Affairs



Available for download on Saturday, June 29, 2024

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