The constant development of online social media features and related services has constantly attracted and increased the number of social media users. But, at the same time, a myriad of users have deviated themselves, temporarily or permanently, from social media use due to social media fatigue. Scholars have investigated different antecedents and consequences of social media fatigue. However, empirical relationships between psychosocial wellbeing and social media fatigue are currently not known. To bridge this gap, the current study utilises the stressor-strain-outcome framework (SSO) to examine whether psychosocial wellbeing measures, such as compulsive media use and fear of missing out, trigger fatigue and, furthermore, whether social media fatigue results in anxiety and depression. The study utilised repeated cross-sectional methodology whereby two waves of data (N = 1554, 1144) were collected to test the research model with adolescent social media users in India. The study findings suggest that compulsive media use significantly triggered social media fatigue, which later result in elevated anxiety and depression. Fear of missing out indirectly predicted social media fatigue through mediation of compulsive social media use. The theoretical and practical implications, limitations of the present study and agenda for future studies are presented and discussed.
An increasing number of social media users are straying from their participation on social media because of encountering social media fatigue (Guest Post, 2017). Prior research has defined social media fatigue as a situation whereby social media users suffer from mental exhaustion after experiencing various technological, informative and communicative overloads through their participation and interactions on the different online social media platforms (Bright, Kleiser, & Grau, 2015; Lee, Son, & Kim, 2016; Ravindran, Kuan, Chua, & Hoe Lian, 2014; Zhang, Zhao, Lu, & Yang, 2016). This phenomenon has recently motivated scholars from around the world to conduct empirical investigations to determine the antecedents and consequences of social media fatigue (Cramer, Song, & Drent, 2016; Luqman, Cao, Ali, Masood, & Yu, 2017; Sasaki, Kawai, & Kitamura, 2016; Yoa & Cao, 2017). The relative determinants of social media fatigue can be stemmed from psychological and behavioural stress-related conditions, such as information overload and connection overload as well as social interactive activities (Bright et al., 2015; LaRose, Connololy, Lee, Li, & Hales, 2014; Lim, Park, Iijima, & Ahn, 2017; Walton, 2017; Zhang, Zhao, Lu, & Yang 2016). Due to this emotional suffering, social media users are likely to refrain, either temporarily or permanently, from participating in online social media interactions (Oghuma, Libaque-Saenz, Wong, & Chang, 2016; Swar, Hameed, & Reychav, 2017). Scholars argue that social media fatigue has significant negative implications for both users as well as the businesses and service operators (Oghuma et al., 2016; Shin & Shin, 2016). On a user level, social media fatigue results in deterioration in both mental and physiological strengths whereby users are likely to develop unhealthy behaviours (Choi & Lim, 2016; Shin & Shin, 2016; Sun et al., 2017).