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Voyeurism and exhibitionism drive Facebook use

Our study titled ‘The Janus Face of Facebook: Positive and negative Sides of Social Networking Site Use’ contributes to understanding of the dark side of social networking site (SNS) use by discussing the role voyeurism and exhibitionism as predictors of Facebook use.

We draw on the uses and gratifications theory and place social enhancement and interpersonal connectivity as the socio-psychologically positive gratifications and exhibitionism and voyeurism as the adverse gratifications predicting SNS use. In our study, exhibitionism refers to an overly grandiose, narcissistic form of self-presentation through Facebook and voyeurism the tendency to derive pleasure from accessing other people’s information through Facebook. We further link these gratifications to two key psychological needs, namely self-presentation and the need to belong.

The results show that exhibitionism, voyeurism and interpersonal connectivity predict SNS use. Furthermore, the number of friends in the SNS decreases the effect of exhibitionism and increases the effect of social enhancement. Altogether, the role of exhibitionism and voyeurism in predicting SNS use underscores the need for increased awareness of the socio-psychologically dark side of SNSs.

The full paper can be found from here.

Bibliographic information

Mäntymäki, Matti & Islam, A.K.M. Najmul (2016) “The Janus Face of Facebook: Positive and negative Sides of Social Networking Site Use”. Computers in Human Behavior, In press.

DOI 10.1016/j.chb.2016.02.078