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Published Online: 10 July 2019

Predictors of Social Media Self-Control Failure: Immediate Gratifications, Habitual Checking, Ubiquity, and Notifications

Publication: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume 22, Issue Number 7


Social media users often experience the difficulty of controlling their social media use while having important tasks to do. Recent theorizing on self-control and media use proposes four possible factors (immediate gratifications, habitual checking, ubiquity, and notifications) that might cause social media self-control failure (SMSCF). We tested whether these factors indeed predict SMSCF among 590 daily social media users. Results showed that, when people checked social media habitually, or strongly experienced the online ubiquity of social media, or perceived strong disturbances from social media notifications, they were more likely to fail to control their social media use. However, social media-related immediate gratifications did not predict SMSCF. This study empirically identified social media-related factors that might induce social media users' self-control difficulty.

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Published In

cover image Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume 22Issue Number 7July 2019
Pages: 477 - 485
PubMed: 31295024


Published online: 10 July 2019
Published in print: July 2019


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Jie Du, MSc [email protected]
Department of Communication Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Peter Kerkhof, PhD
Department of Communication Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Guido M. van Koningsbruggen, PhD
Department of Communication Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Address correspondence to: Jie Du, Department of Communication Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam 1081 HV, The Netherlands [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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