motivation, social media, self-determination theory, social connection


An SPSS dataset of all variable included in the analyses for the manucript.

Data Source

Data was collected from UCF students with UCF IRB approval.


The impact of social media use on psychological well-being has been a pressing topic of discussion for the past several years. Previous research has found, paradoxically, that social media use may be associated with both increased and decreased well-being. Some studies have suggested that one’s motivation for using social media may be implicated in well-being outcomes as a result of social media use.

This study sought to further explore the role of motivation for social media use, and how it may differ across different social media platforms (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and total time spent on social media). Specifically, the present study tested whether time spent on social media and motives for social media use mediate the relationship between feelings of social connection and disconnection. Results indicated that time spent on social media and motives for use do not mediate the relationship between connection and disconnection for any of the platforms or for total use. However, tests of direct effects revealed that disconnection predicts more total time spent on social media across platforms, but not time spent on any specific platform. Similarly, using social media for friendship and information predicted higher levels of social connection when total social media use was included as a mediator. In contrast, using social media for connection (i.e., forming new relationships) did not predict higher feelings of social connection for any of the platforms or for total use.

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