Internet Use and Happiness: An Updated Review of Literature
The purpose of this research is to review the literation on the relationship between internet use and happiness, updating a previous review , and building upon a series of longitudinal studies following this initial review [2, 3, 4]. Reasons for studying happiness, and happiness definitions and measurement are discussed. This is followed by a discussion of early research which found a negative relationship between internet use and happiness, followed by studies indicating a more positive relationship, supporting a “stimulation hypothesis” that poses that the internet can act to facilitate face-to-face interactions. More recent research has focused on social networking. With some important exceptions, these most recent studies continue to find that internet use is positively related to happiness, while identifying a number of important mediating and moderating variables, such as experience with the internet and social networking; wealth; health; number of “friends”; the nature of interactions; extroversion, and the ways in which users represent themselves online.
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