The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Are people who feel more lonely more active on social media?: A theoretical model examining the relationship between loneliness, social media sharing, and gender

Adem Kantar, Erzurum Teknik University (Turkey)

Fatmagul Gurbuz, Hacettepe University (Turkey)


The literature shows that individuals who report being lonely use social media more frequently (Teo & Lee, 2016). In addition, studies examining gender differences in perceived loneliness report that men are more lonely than women (Cramer & Neyedley, 1998). When these two findings are combined, it is expected that those who are lonelier, namely men, will share more on social media. However, studies show that women share more on social media than men (Thelwall & Vis, 2017). When the literature is evaluated as a whole, the findings seem contradictory and necessitate examining the underlying variables between the two variables. In this study, we aimed to examine the role of gender and traditional masculinity norms in the relationship between loneliness and social media use. We conducted the research with 350 university students. We collected research data through the UCLA Loneliness Scale Short Form, the Outside School Social Media Behavior Scale, the Male Role Norms Scale, the Needs Satisfaction Scale, and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. We analyzed the data obtained from the scales with the Bootstrapping method. According to the results of our study, we found that male university students use social media more passively than female university students, which is consistent with previous studies. Furthermore, we determined that as the perceived loneliness increased for university students, the use of social media increased. Moreover, we found that the association of increased levels of loneliness with social media use was higher in university student women. Based on the findings, we concluded that the social media posts of young men who attach importance to traditional masculinity norms might be consistent with the gender roles attributed to them. In other words, we concluded that gender roles could affect not only interpersonal relationships in daily life but also social media use.

Keywords: Social media sharing, loneliness, gender, model testing. 


[1] Cramer, K. M., & Neyedley, K. A. (1998) Sex differences in loneliness: The role of masculinity and femininity. Sex Roles 38, 645–653.

[2] Teo, W. J. S., & Lee, C. S. (2016). Sharing brings happiness?: Effects of sharing in social media among adult users. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Eds: A. Morishima et al.): 351–365. Springer International Publishing.

[3] Thelwall, M., & Vis, F. (2017). Gender and image sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp in the UK: Hobbying alone or filtering for friends? Aslib Journal of Information Management, 69(6), 702-720.

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