I Want You to Like Me: Extraversion, Need for Approval, and Time on Facebook as Predictors of Anxiety

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Abstract

Although social networking sites such as Facebook have been touted as creating a global village, there may be a downside to such computer-mediated interactions on users’ well-being. One such consequence is that stimuli via computer-mediated interactions may be anxiety-provoking for some users. As such, recent studies have tried to ascertain personality traits and individual differences that are associated with higher anxiety in connection with extensive Facebook use. The current study evaluated the relationships among extraversion, time on Facebook, need for approval, and anxiety among college students (N = 280). Results revealed that need for approval significantly moderated the association between extraversion and anxiety. Specifically, individuals higher in extraversion tended to be less anxious, although this was less evident for those extraverts who were higher in need for approval. Further, this moderating effect was stronger among extraverts who were higher in need for approval and spent more time on Facebook relative to those who spent less time on Facebook. The present research contributes to the emerging literature by providing evidence regarding how personality and other factors interact with Facebook usage.

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