INSTAGRAM USE AND SOCIAL ANXIETY AMONG YOUNGSTERS IN PAKISTAN: SERIAL MEDIATION ANALYSIS
Social media’s technological developments have made it possible to extensively share visual content such as photos and videos to represent idealized beauty. Many studies conclude negative effects of Instagram on Social anxiety. However, the mechanism through which Instagram affects psychological wellbeing of youngsters is not studied adequately. Using Street's (2003) three-stage model of interactive media use, quantitative research methodology was designed. A survey of university youngsters (N=384) through a set of questions is conducted. Study followed a cross-sectional non-experimental research approach. Mediation path from Instagram usage to social anxiety was analyzed statistically applying Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Investigations revealed that the direct relationship of Instagram usage with social anxiety was not significant. However, Instagram usage was linked to social anxiety through mediating factors. Social comparison as a proximal outcome and self-esteem as intermediate outcome were the mediating factors supported mediation framework. Gender and age were found insignificant in the relationship between the youngsters’ Instagram usage and social anxiety. Finding would be helpful in developing a practical mechanism to cope with mental health issues of youngsters due to the use of online spaces in digital age.
Keywords: Instagram use, Three-stage model, Social comparison, Self-esteem, Social anxiety
Copyright (c) 2023 Fakhta Zeib, Sobia Shahzad
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