Motivations for Social Media Use as Mediators in the Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Social Media Addiction

Yosra Jarrar 1 * , Ayodeji Awobamise 2, Gabriel E. Nweke 3, Khaled Tamim 1
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1 American University in Dubai, Dubai, UAE
2 Kampala International University, Kampala, UGANDA
3 Girne American University, Girne, CYPRUS
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 12, Issue 4, Article No: e202243. https://doi.org/10.30935/ojcmt/12580
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ABSTRACT

In the midst of an ever-changing world that we inhabit today, many facets that were once viewed as ‘intruding’, ‘alien’, or utter anomalies, have turned into integral linchpins of our day-to-day lives, and without them, the modern dynamics of human essence are portrayed as incompetent. Amongst those pivotal factors are the emergence of the Internet, social media platforms, and the inevitable ascendancy of the virtual world. That is, the perception of what is deemed incongruent is primarily dependent on how well one seems to utilize social media, as it is the cutting edge of the contemporary means of social evolution. Indeed, the conception of social engagement has become completely novel nowadays from what it was in the past, and despite the fact that communication has been altered to fit ‘electronic screens’, it has facilitated the mechanisms of communication in a way that is simply undeniable. Howbeit, on the other hand, this cacophony of interactive tools has created one of the virtual world’s most obstreperous dogmas, that is, social media addiction. The rapid changes in external methods of communication have contributed to the stripping of our innate roots of ordeal human communication and thus completely remolded our behaviors in a whirlwind of what seemed like a revolutionary momentum. That is, socialization and the formation of both individual identity and communal solidarity are essentially centered around our online practices, where the dependencies of such shift in communication transmit further into the entirety of our beings and seep into our subconsciousness. Thus, among the notions of social media’s intermingling with human intellect, is the deployment of emotional intelligence (EI) in dealing with social media addiction. Formulating the crux to this research, this paper seeks to shed light on the role of EI in either dampening or arousing the desires of obsessive social media use, especially since there is a major dearth of studies that observe the crucialness of EI management in controlling addictive behaviors on various social media platforms. Through the use of a quantitative research approach, this study examined the role of several motivations for social media use, namely, entertainment, communication, self-expression, and relationship maintenance, in moderating the relationship between EI and social media addiction. This was achieved by distributing questionnaires to 400 participants aged between 18 and 25 in the Kampala Region of Uganda, using a random sampling method. Findings elucidated that EI is negatively correlated to social media addiction, implying that a higher level of EI translates to a lower desire for social media addiction and vice versa, while all four motivations for social media use were significantly correlated with social media addiction. Furthermore, results conveyed that entertainment and relationship management are amongst the top stimulating mediators for the relationship between EI and social media addiction. However, this also implies that if individuals have low levels of EI, it does not necessarily guarantee that they will most likely adopt pathological social media behaviors, simply because the motivations for using such online platforms critically vary from one individual to the other, while also simultaneously keeping an analytical eye on the role of freewill in promulgating this dilemma in possible future research.

CITATION

Jarrar, Y., Awobamise, A., Nweke, G. E., & Tamim, K. (2022). Motivations for Social Media Use as Mediators in the Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Social Media Addiction. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 12(4), e202243. https://doi.org/10.30935/ojcmt/12580

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