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The use of social networks and social media by millions has given many researchers the impetus to uncover the effects of such usage on the behaviour of people.
Building on previous research that has shown that people use social networks to fulfill needs like affiliation, self-expression, self-presentation, enhancements of self-esteem, amongst others. Even for those who are emotionally unstable, they obtain utility from the use of social networks by means of social support and healing for their inner self. Social networks give people control over what they want to present to others. this includes the deletion and untagging of images and statuses.
Researchers Kevin Wilcox (Columbia Business School) and Andrew Stephen (University of Pittsburgh) found that social network usage enhances the self-esteem of users who focus on strong ties with friends who are close to them when they are browsing their social networks. This self-esteem increase reduces self-control, which may lead them to do things that they may usually have greater restrain upon, including eating habits and credit card expenditure.
By virtue of the knowledge that presented by this research that social networks can significantly affect consumer judgment and decision making, even up to general social behavior, this provides powerful implications and applications for marketers and policymakers alike.
The original article can found at the Journal of Consumer Research, Vol 40, June 2013.