Effect of social media overload on college students’ academic performance under the COVID-19 quarantine

Frontiers in Psychology 13 (2022)
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Features and relevant services of online social media have been attracting users during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous studies have shown that college students tend to use social media more frequently than other groups. However, in being affected by social media overload, the social media use behaviors of many college students have been out of their control in terms of their capabilities or cognition. Based on the stressor–strain–outcome model and the theory of compensatory internet use, we developed a research model to study the causes of social media overload and its impact on college students’ academic performance during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 441 valid responses from college students through questionnaires in China are collected via purposive sampling and used in the data analysis. This study conducts PLS-SEM to analyze collected data, finding that boredom proneness is associated with overload, which has a bearing on social media overload and the reduction in final performance. Through illustrating the psychological and behavioral conditions that hinder the academic performance of students, this study provides deeper insights into students’ uncontrollable use of social media. Moreover, with respect to the identified antecedents, this study aims to find solutions to mitigate the impact of social media overload resulting from boredom proneness on the academic performance of college students.



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Yan Xu
Tongji University

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