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Regret is an undesirable yet very common outcome of social networking site (SNS) use. To date, the literature has examined SNS regret at an aggregate level. In this paper, we decompose the dimensions and constituents of SNS regret into networking regret and brand page regret, to better understand it, and examine how the two facets of regret are created by SNS use intensity and gratification. We also decomposed SNS activities into networking activities and brand page activities and positioned them as predictors of networking regret and brand page regret, respectively.

Our paper utilises uses and gratifications theory, and positions interpersonal connectivity and exhibitionism as the antecedents of networking activities as well as informational value and exhibitionism as the antecedents of brand page activities. We collected data from 246 Facebook users from France and analysed the data using the partial least squares approach.
The results show that use intensity has a marginal effect on both brand page and networking regret. However, exhibitionism was found to reinforce the effect of use intensity on both brand page and networking regret. It also had a positive effect on both networking and brand page activities. The other two gratifications, interpersonal connectivity and informational value, had a positive effect on networking and brand page activities, respectively.
To date, empirical attempts at investigating decomposed SNS regret have been rare. The paper fills this theoretical and empirical gap and contributes to the literature on regret in an SNS use context.

Find the full paper here.

Bibliometric information: Islam, A., Mäntymäki, M. and Kefi, H. (2019), “Decomposing social networking site regret: a uses and gratifications approach”, Information Technology & People, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-04-2018-0184

Matti Mäntymäki