Overconsumption - A Growing Concern: Examining the Effects of Mindfulness and Self-esteem on Excessive Social Media Use and Online Compulsive Buying.

Mille Øye Johnsen & Helene Eilertsen Krogh

Student thesis: Master thesis


There is a growing concern that global consumption has reached the point of overconsumption, which has detrimental consequences for both individual well-being and environmental sustainability. The commercialisation of social media and a rapid increase in online advertising have shown to boost consumption even further, and research shows that excessive social media usage can sometimes lead to compulsive buying tendencies. On the other side, mindfulness may serve as an antidote to the negative impacts of excessive social media use and consumerism. This study aims to investigate the relationship between the mediating roles of mindfulness and self-esteem and consumers’ behaviour in an online environment. We hypothesised that higher levels of mindfulness would decrease addictive behaviour towards Instagram, and that Instagram addiction has a positive association with online compulsive buying. Further, we hypothesised that self-esteem would decrease both addictive and compulsive behaviour in an online context. The research model was tested with a sample of 210 respondents through a self-administrated online questionnaire, which has been used as a primary data collection method in the research. Moreover, the research framework was empirically tested through Structural Equation Modelling in SPSS Amos. After analysing the results, the Exploratory Factor Analysis divided some of the variables into underlying and more distinct factors, creating new pathways in the research model. Consequently, three out of the eight hypotheses were accepted. In sum, the results of the study partly prove a relationship between mindfulness, self-esteem, Instagram addiction and online compulsive buying, and found significant correlation between Instagram addiction and online shopping tendencies. The results of this study provide insights into further research in the transformative consumer research paradigm of improving consumer and societal wellbeing and highlights relevant issues that businesses should take into account when developing their marketing strategies.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages135
SupervisorsLeticia Vedolin