An extensive body of literature elaborates on the negative outcomes of social media use. Existing research states that social media use is a source of stress and that this is associated with negative consequences, such as sleep problems, concentration disorders, or general life dissatisfaction. In these studies, social media are classified as negative stressors, which leads to perceived distress. However, appraising stressors as challenges rather than as hindrances evidently leads to positive perceptions of stress, namely eustress. Therefore, we propose that social media can also serve as challenge stressors inducing perceived eustress, which, in turn, leads to positive outcomes. We collected data from 160 social media users in an online survey and used structural equation modeling for the analysis. The results support our propositions and confirm that the appraisal of social media as challenge stressors is a significant determinant of perceived eustress, which induces positive affect.
Zielonka, Julia Theresia and Rothlauf, Franz, "Challenge Accepted: On the Juxtaposed Effect of the Appraisal of Social Media as Challenge and Hindrance Stressors on the Perception of Eustress and Distress" (2021). PACIS 2021 Proceedings. 120.
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