Extant research has shown the prevalence of social networking site (SNS) addiction and provided evidence for its negative consequences. Given such consequences, it is conceivable that some users decide to discontinue their SNS use in response to SNS addiction. This paper examines key mechanisms that translate SNS addiction into discontinuance decisions.
A theoretical model is proposed based on the cognitive-affective model of behavior. It is empirically tested with data from 499 SNS users.
Results show that cognitive dissonance (as primary cognitive response) and guilt (as primary affective response) mediate the relation between SNS addiction and decision to discontinue SNS use, whereas self-accountability and perceived self-efficacy play positive and negative moderating roles. Additional analysis reveals that the effect of guilt on decision to discontinue SNS use follows a nonlinear pattern.
Additional cognitive and affective responses, beyond cognitive dissonance and guilt, as well as additional contextual factors may influence the relation between SNS addiction and decision to discontinue SNS use. In addition, the relation between decisions and actual discontinuance should be examined by future research.
This study highlights important key antecedents of the decision to discontinue SNS use, namely cognitive dissonance, guilt, self-accountability, and perceived self-efficacy, and the mechanisms underlying their influence. It also explains the nonlinear effect of guilt on the decision to discontinue SNS use.
Vaghefi, I., Qahri-Saremi, H. and Turel, O. (2020), "Dealing with social networking site addiction: a cognitive-affective model of discontinuance decisions", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-10-2019-0418Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited