The Relationship between Social Capital and Social Media Addiction: The Role of Privacy Self-Efficacy


  • Franck Soh UNC at Greensboro
  • Kane Smith University of North Texas, USA
  • Gurpreet Dhillon University of North Texas, USA, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa



social media, addiction, self-efficacy, privacy, social capital, bridging, bonding


The rise of social media raises important ethical issues regarding social media user behaviors. This study seeks to investigate the determinants of social media addiction by focusing on social capital and privacy self-efficacy. We argue that social capital has a mixed association with social media addiction by highlighting the difference between social capital bonding and social capital bridging. Notably, social media users differ in their usage purposes; as some build more bridges, others focus on bonding. Moreover, we posit that the relationship between social capital and social media addiction is moderated by social media user privacy self-efficacy. We collected the data using a survey approach and the data was analyzed using covariance-based structural equation modeling. The findings support our hypotheses. First, we found that social media users with high bridging experience lesser social media addiction. Those with high bonding have more social media addiction. Second, social media users' privacy self-efficacy moderates the relationship between social capital and social media addiction. This occurs by reinforcing the negative association between social capital bridging and social media addiction and the positive association between social capital bonding and social media addiction. Our findings provide important theoretical contributions and implications for practice.


Abbasi, I. S. (2019). Social media addiction in romantic relationships: Does user’s age influence vulnerability to social media infidelity? Personality and Individual Differences, 139, 277–280.

Akbari, M. (2017). Metacognitions or distress intolerance: The mediating role in the relationship between emotional dysregulation and problematic internet use. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 6, 128–133.

Andreassen, C., & Pallesen, S. (2014). Social Network Site Addiction - An Overview. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 20(25), 4053–4061.

Andreassen, C. S., Billieux, J., Griffiths, M. D., Kuss, D. J., Demetrovics, Z., Mazzoni, E., & Pallesen, S. (2016). The relationship between addictive use of social media and video games and symptoms of psychiatric disorders: A large-scale cross-sectional study. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 30(2), 252-262.

Armstrong, M. (2021). Is Peak Social Media Already Behind Us? Retrieved 20 December 2021, from

Bansal, G., Zahedi, F. M., & Gefen, D. (2016). Do context and personality matter? Trust and privacy concerns in disclosing private information online. Information and Management, 53(1), 1–21.

Błachnio, A., Przepiorka, A., & Pantic, I. (2016). Association between Facebook addiction, self-esteem and life satisfaction: A cross-sectional study. Computers in Human Behavior, 55, 701–705.

Burt, R. S. (2004). Structural holes and good ideas. American Journal of Sociology, 110(2), 349–399.

Carter, M., & Grover, V. (2015). Me, My Self, And I (T). MIS Quarterly, 39(4), 931-958.

Chen, H. T. (2018). Revisiting the Privacy Paradox on Social Media With an Extended Privacy Calculus Model: The Effect of Privacy Concerns, Privacy Self-Efficacy, and Social Capital on Privacy Management. American Behavioral Scientist, 62(10), 1392–1412.

Chen, H. T., & Chen, W. (2015). Couldn’t or wouldn’t? the influence of privacy concerns and self-efficacy in privacy management on privacy protection. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 18(1), 13–19.

Coffé, H., & Geys, B. (2007). Toward an empirical characterization of bridging and bonding social capital. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 36(1), 121-139.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Structural Equation Models with Unobservable Variables and Measurement Error: Algebra and Statistics. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(3), 382–388.

Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91(3), 481–510.

Granovetter, M. S. (1973). The Strength of Weak Ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360–1380.

Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., & Anderson, R. E. (2010), Multivariate Data Analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Hou, Y., Xiong, D., Jiang, T., Song, L., & Wang, Q. (2019). Social media addiction: Its impact, mediation, and intervention. Cyberpsychology, 13(1).

Koc, M., & Gulyagci, S. (2013). Facebook addiction among Turkish college students: The role of psychological health, demographic, and usage characteristics. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 16(4), 279–284.

Leonard, M. (2004). Bonding and bridging social capital: Reflections from Belfast. Sociology, 38(5), 927–944.

Lindell, M. K., & Whitney, D. J. (2001). Accounting for common method variance in cross-sectional research designs. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(1), 114-121.

Malloch, Y. Z., & Hether, H. J. (2019). The dark side of addiction support forums: Impacts of poor quality and insufficient emotional support on perceived support availability and health efficacy. Journal of Health Communication, 24(4), 432-441.

Nahapiet, J., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational advantage. Academy of Management Review, 23(2), 242–266.

Pantic, I. (2014). Online social networking and mental health. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 17(10), 652–657.

Patulny, R. V., & Svendsen, G. L. H. (2007). Exploring the social capital grid: bonding, bridging, qualitative, quantitative. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 27(1/2), 32-51.

Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community: New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001. ISBN. Policy Analysis.

Shensa, A., Sidani, J. E., Escobar-Viera, C. G., Switzer, G. E., Primack, B. A., & Choukas-Bradley, S. (2020). Emotional support from social media and face-to-face relationships: Associations with depression risk among young adults. Journal of Affective Disorders, 260, 38–44.

Spada, M. M., & Marino, C. (2017). Metacognitions and emotion regulation as predictors of problematic internet use in adolescents. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 14, 59–63.

Statista. (2019). Share of online users in the United States who report being addicted to social media as of April 2019, by age group. Retrieved 20 December 2021, from

Steelman, Z. R., Hammer, B. I., & Limayem, M. (2014). Data collection in the digital age: Innovative alternatives to student samples. MIS Quarterly, 38(2), 355-378.

Thomée, S., Eklöf, M., Gustafsson, E., Nilsson, R., & Hagberg, M. (2007). Prevalence of perceived stress, symptoms of depression and sleep disturbances in relation to information and communication technology (ICT) use among. Computers in Human Behavior, 23(3), 1300–1321.

Turel, O., Brevers, D., & Bechara, A. (2018). Time distortion when users at-risk for social media addiction engage in non-social media tasks. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 97, 84–88.

Turel, O., Serenko, A., & Giles, P. (2011). Integrating technology addiction and use: An empirical investigation of online auction users. MIS Quarterly, 35(4), 1043-1061.

Turel O, He Q, Xue G, Xiao L and Bechara A (2014) Examination of neural systems sub-serving Facebook “addiction”. Psychological Reports 115(3), 675–695.

Wang, E. S. T., & Wang, M. C. H. (2013). Social support and social interaction ties on internet addiction: Integrating online and offline contexts. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 16(11), 843–849.

Williams, D. (2006). On and off the ’Net: Scales for Social Capital in an Online Era. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11(2), 593–628.

Xanidis, N., & Brignell, C. M. (2016). The association between the use of social network sites, sleep quality and cognitive function during the day. Computers in Human Behavior, 55, 121–126.

Xu, Z., Turel, O., & Yuan, Y. (2012). Online game addiction among adolescents: Motivation and prevention factors. European Journal of Information Systems, 21(3), 321-340.

Yeh, Y. C., Ko, H. C., Wu, J. Y. W., & Cheng, C. P. (2008). Gender differences in relationships of actual and virtual social support to internet addiction mediated through depressive symptoms among college students in Taiwan. Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 11(4), 485–487.




How to Cite

Soh, F., Smith, K., & Dhillon, G. (2022). The Relationship between Social Capital and Social Media Addiction: The Role of Privacy Self-Efficacy. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 26.



Research on Applied Ethics