Paper ID

2689

Paper Type

full

Description

So far research in the area of social networking sites (SNS) has drawn surprisingly little attention to users’ conspicuous consumption (CC), even though the constant rise of younger people’s debts seems to go hand in hand with the rise of SNS. To fill this research gap, we conducted two studies based on social comparison and normative influence theory. In a preliminary study, we show that Instagram use is positively related to users’ CC. In the main study, using a sample of 283 German Instagram users, we find possible explanations for this association. While norms on Instagram seem not to account for the link between Instagram use and CC, our results suggest a mediating effect of envy. We contribute to the literature by providing insights on SNS use and CC while offering first explanations for its potentially harmful economic outcomes.

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Keeping Up with the Joneses: Instagram Use and its Influence on Conspicuous Consumption

So far research in the area of social networking sites (SNS) has drawn surprisingly little attention to users’ conspicuous consumption (CC), even though the constant rise of younger people’s debts seems to go hand in hand with the rise of SNS. To fill this research gap, we conducted two studies based on social comparison and normative influence theory. In a preliminary study, we show that Instagram use is positively related to users’ CC. In the main study, using a sample of 283 German Instagram users, we find possible explanations for this association. While norms on Instagram seem not to account for the link between Instagram use and CC, our results suggest a mediating effect of envy. We contribute to the literature by providing insights on SNS use and CC while offering first explanations for its potentially harmful economic outcomes.