Engagement with social media content results in lower appearance satisfaction: An experience sampling study using a wrist-worn wearable and a physical analogue scale

Stefan Stieger, Hannah M. Graf, Stella P. Riegler, Sophie Biebl, Viren Swami

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social media use is consistently associated with more negative body image, but much of this literature is cross-sectional and/or lacks ecological validity. To overcome these limitations, we examined associations between everyday social media engagement and appearance satisfaction using an experience sampling method. Fifty participants from Central Europe completed a 14-day experience sampling phase in which they reported their appearance satisfaction at two random time-points each day, as well as following active engagement with social media content, using a wrist-worn wearable and a physical analogue scale (PAS; i.e., angle of a participant's forearm between flat and fully upright as a continuous response scale). Results indicated that engagement with social media content was significantly associated with lower appearance satisfaction. Additionally, we found that engagement with the content of known others was associated with significantly lower appearance satisfaction than engagement with the content of unknown others. These effects were stable even after controlling for participant demographics, active vs. passive daily social media use, and body image-related factors. These results provide evidence that everyday social media engagement is associated with lower appearance satisfaction and additionally provides preliminary support for the use of a PAS in body image research using an experience sampling method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-243
Number of pages12
JournalBody Image
Volume43
Early online dateOct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Appearance satisfaction
  • Experience sampling method
  • Physical analogue scale
  • Social media
  • Wearable
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Social Media
  • Humans
  • Wearable Electronic Devices
  • Ecological Momentary Assessment
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Wrist
  • Body Image/psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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