Exploration of the association between social media addiction, self-esteem, self-compassion and loneliness.

Published: 11 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/txr34h8bgs.1
Eirini Marina Mitropoulou


Excessive social media use is associated with several negative psychological outcomes, including psychological distress and lower levels of-self-esteem. Research reports that feelings of loneliness enhance social media abuse, with individuals reporting stronger engagement to social media. However, self-esteem and self-compassion, which are considered as complementary constructs, mitigate social media use. This research aimed to explore the association between social media and loneliness, and whether this relation can be explained through the relation of self-esteem and self-compassion. A non-clinical sample of 426 Greek adults fulfilled the first adapted version of the Social Media Disorder Scale to assess social media addiction, the UCLA loneliness scale, the Rosenberg’s self-esteem scale and the Self Compassion Scale. Structural equation modeling was used, along with Analysis of Variance to estimate the role of demographics to social media excessive use, such as gender, education, age and the number of followers. Results revealed that self-esteem was not associated to social media excessive use or to any other behavior. Higher levels of self-compassion were associated to lower levels of social media use; moreover, self-compassion acted as a mediator with individuals feeling loneliness exhibiting lower levels of social media addiction. Possible explanations, future directions and the factors that may contribute to the insignificant relationship between self-esteem and social media are discussed. Keywords: social media addiction, self-esteem, self-compassion, structural equation model, Social Media Disorder Scale



Social Media, Structural Equation Modeling, Self-Esteem, Mindfulness-Based Approach, Loneliness