Motives for online friending and following: The dark side of social network site connections

J.W. Ouwerkerk, B.K. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to ConferenceAbstractOther research output


Motives for “friending” others on social network sites are often positive, but darker motives may also play an important role. A survey with a novel Following Motives Scale (FMS) shows that antisocial motives (i.e., others providing a target for downward comparison, competition, schadenfreude, gossip, and “hate-following”) and insecurity motives (i.e., others providing reassurance, preference for online interaction, and social obligation), can be distinguished from positive sociable and inspirational motives, and are related differently to self-esteem, need for popularity, narcissism, and dispositional schadenfreude. Moreover, an embedded experiment demonstrates that antisocial motives predict acceptance of a Facebook friendship request from, schadenfreude towards, as well as gossiping about, a high school acquaintance that suffered a setback, thereby providing a convenient source for self-enhancement.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016
EventEtmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap: Closer: Connecting through intimate communicating technologies - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 4 Feb 20165 Feb 2016


ConferenceEtmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap


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