Social Media's Potential in Improving the Mental Well-being of the Unemployed

Anne Suphan*, Miriam Feuls, Christian Fieseler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This article presents research into the compensating potential of social media for the psychological consequences of job loss. In particular the questions to be answered are whether subjective well-being as well as perceived exclusion are influenced by involvement in social media, and whether age as a context variable may moderate these influences. We demonstrate, based on 2,400 telephone interviews with unemployed persons in Germany, that the use of social media may indeed increase well-being for the unemployed, if they can transfer their online contacts in real social life activities. This transfer is, curiously, easier for older participants. Digital Immigrants display a different relationship structure in their online social networks which allows them to alleviate the more exclusionary effects, whereas Digital Natives are in jeopardy to feel more excluded due to their social media usage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring the Abyss of Inequalities : 4th International Conference on Well-being in the Information Society, WIS 2012. Turku, Finland, August 2012. Proceedings
EditorsKristina Eriksson-Backa, Annika Luoma, Erica Krook
Number of pages19
Place of PublicationBerlin, Heidelberg
Publication date2012
ISBN (Print)9783642328497
ISBN (Electronic)9783642328503
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event4th International Conference on Well-Being in the Information Society. WIS 2012 - Turku, Finland
Duration: 22 Aug 201224 Aug 2012
Conference number: 4


Conference4th International Conference on Well-Being in the Information Society. WIS 2012
SeriesCommunications in Computer and Information Science


  • Well-being
  • Perceived exclusion
  • Social media
  • Unemployment

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