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The Bright Side of Social Media Escapism

2017-05-29 , Müller, Severina , Stanoevska-Slabeva, Katarina , Meckel, Miriam

Escapism, describing a temporary escape from everyday life into the world of media, is considered as a key driver of media use and has been studied extensively in relation to traditional media such as television. However, in the context of social media, little is known about the prevalence and mechanisms of escapism. Against this background, we conducted an online survey with 775 Facebook users that examined the antecedents of Facebook escapism as well as its outcomes on entertainment experiences. The results reveal that Facebook escapism is provoked by a low need for cognition and low life satisfaction. Regarding the effects, the findings indicate that Facebook Escapism not only fulfills the hedonic need for enjoyment but also the eudaimonic needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness. Furthermore, we found that differentiating between consuming, participating, and producing Facebook user types is insightful for explaining differences in the relationships of escapism with its antecedents and outcomes.