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07-02-2020 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 4/2020

Mindfulness 4/2020

Getting Less Likes on Social Media: Mindfulness Ameliorates the Detrimental Effects of Feeling Left Out Online

Mindfulness > Uitgave 4/2020
Kai-Tak Poon, Yufei Jiang
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12671-020-01313-w) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Many people spend a lot of time on social media every day, but they may sometimes feel left out on these platforms (e.g., getting few likes or comments on their status updates). Researchers have shown that such experience often leads to psychological and behavioral maladjustment. However, relatively little is known about whether individual characteristics such as trait mindfulness may buffer these negative effects. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that trait mindfulness weakens the effects of feeling left out on social media on different maladjustment outcomes.


In this study, participants first completed a well-validated measure to assess their trait mindfulness. By random assignment, participants were then exposed to an experimental manipulation of a social media experience, during which they received either one or five likes from 11 online interaction partners. Finally, their states of psychological distress, negative emotion, hostility, and antisocial tendency were assessed.


The results showed that trait mindfulness significantly moderated the effects of feeling left out on social media on these maladjustment outcomes. Compared with participants with low trait mindfulness, those with high mindfulness reported lower levels of psychological distress, negative emotion, hostility, and antisocial tendency after they had received little attention on social media.


These findings highlight the important role of mindfulness in ameliorating the negative outcomes associated with feeling left out on social media.

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