The Effect of Belongingness on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in the Use of Online Social Networks

Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS), vol. 34(2), pp. 560–596

64 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2017 Last revised: 27 Nov 2017

Tabitha James

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Pamplin College of Business

Paul Benjamin Lowry

The University of Hong Kong - School of Business

Linda G. Wallace

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Pamplin College of Business

Merrill Warkentin

Mississippi State University - Department of Management and Information Systems

Date Written: November 30, 2017

Abstract

Online social networks (OSNs) continue to have a transformative influence on how people socialize, partially because they help facilitate social contact that is crucial to fulfilling an innate need to belong. However, there is increasing evidence that some users suffer from OSN addiction, expressed as OSN obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Using the need-to-belong theory as our foundation, we seek a deeper understanding of the relationship between OSN belongingness and OSN OCD by examining the effects OSN-specific uses and gratifications (U&Gs) and negative emotions have on it. We find that OSN belongingness is positively associated with use of the OSN to gratify needs for purposive value, self-discovery, maintaining interpersonal interconnectivity, social enhancement, and entertainment value. However, gratification of only the purposive value and social enhancement needs increase the likelihood of OSN OCD. Furthermore, we find that while OSN belongingness decreases the likelihood of OSN envy and anxiety, it slightly increases the likelihood of OSN fear of missing out; notably, all three of these negative emotions drive OSN OCD. Our findings indicate healthy socialization use by well-adjusted individuals decreases OSN OCD risks, but those experiencing unstable emotional responses or unhealthy socialization on the OSN should avoid use.

Keywords: Online Social Networks (OSNs), OSN Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OSN Addiction, OSN Belongingness, Need-To-Belong Theory, Uses and Gratifications Theory, Facebook

Suggested Citation

James, Tabitha and Lowry, Paul Benjamin and Wallace, Linda G. and Warkentin, Merrill, The Effect of Belongingness on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in the Use of Online Social Networks (November 30, 2017). Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS), vol. 34(2), pp. 560–596. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2953248

Tabitha James

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Pamplin College of Business ( email )

1016 Pamplin Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Paul Benjamin Lowry (Contact Author)

The University of Hong Kong - School of Business ( email )

Meng Wah Complex
Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong
China

Linda G. Wallace

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Pamplin College of Business ( email )

1016 Pamplin Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Merrill Warkentin

Mississippi State University - Department of Management and Information Systems ( email )

United States

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