Threats to belonging on Facebook: lurking and ostracism

Stephanie J. Tobin, Eric J. Vanman, Marnize Verreynne, Alexander K. Saeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


We examined two threats to belonging and related needs on Facebook: lurking (Study 1) and ostracism (Study 2). In Study 1, participants were either allowed or not allowed to share information on Facebook for 48 hours. Those who were not allowed to share information had lower levels of belonging and meaningful existence. In Study 2, participants engaged in a laboratory-based Facebook activity. Half of the profiles were set up so that participants would not receive any feedback on their status updates. Participants who did not receive feedback on their updates had lower levels of belonging, self-esteem, control, and meaningful existence. Together, these findings indicate that a lack of information sharing and feedback can threaten belonging needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Influence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • belonging
  • Facebook
  • meaning
  • ostracism
  • social networking sites

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