Compulsive Instagram use: Roles of stickiness, gratifications, and mindfulness



Accumulated reports have revealed the dark side of Social Networking Site (SNS) usages: compulsive use. How compulsive SNS use develops should receive more concern, so as to find a way to decrease its harmful effects. Based on uses & gratifications (U&G) theory and mindfulness, the present study aims to develop an integrated research model to investigate the enablers and inhibitors of compulsive Instagram use. Partial Least Squares (PLS) approach was employed to analyze data from 143 students in a northern Taiwan university who use Instagram as their preferred SNS to gratify their needs online in terms of self-documentation, entertainment, passing time, and self-expression. The findings conclude that: 1) users’ gratifications of self-documentation, entertainment, passing time, and self-expression are directly related to users’ stickiness toward Instagram; 2) stickiness is an important mediator in the process of forming compulsive Instagram use; 3) users’ trait of mindfulness can decrease their compulsive use; 4) users’ mindfulness can mitigate the effect of stickiness on compulsive Instagram use. This study, with U&G theory and mindfulness as its underpinning, thus, explains the formation of compulsive Instagram use and confirms the inhibiting effect of mindfulness on the compulsive use. It contributes to the understanding of two opposite forces, mindfulness and stickiness, acting on the compulsive use of SNSs, particularly for compulsive use of Instagram. Research and managerial implications - such as studying samples from adults and different populations, SNS operators fostering specific gratifications, and policy actions promoting mindfulness training - are articulated.

compulsive SNS use, mindfulness, uses & gratifications
Author biography

Yu-Hsun Lin

Department of Business and Management, Ming Chi University of Technology

Yu-Hsun Lin is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Business and Management at The Ming Chi University of Technology. He received his PhD from the Department of Information Management, National Central University, Taiwan. Dr. Lin has published articles at Computers in Human Behaviors, Online Information Review, Sage Open, International Journal of Services Technology and Management, and others. His current research interests include: mindfulness and behavior in social media, team learning and cognition, social network analysis and digital content marketing, and live streaming commerce. This is the corresponding author for the article (


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Additional information

First submission received:
May 6, 2021

Revisions received:
September 21, 2021
October 27, 2021

Accepted for publication:
November 22, 2021

Editor in charge:
David Smahel






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