Social media ostracism: The effects of being excluded online


In times of being always online and connected, cyberostracism—the feeling of being ignored or excluded over the Internet—is a serious threat to fundamental human needs: belonging, self-esteem, control, and meaningful existence. According to the temporal need-threat model, responses to ostracism lead to immediate and universal experiences of negative emotions as well as to thwarted need satisfaction. In two experiments (N1 = 105; N2 = 85), we investigated these effects using a new computerized tool, Ostracism Online (Wolf et al., 2015). In both studies we found that ostracism negatively affected emotional states, belongingness, self-esteem, and meaningful existence but not control. Furthermore, Facebook use as a coping strategy after being excluded had no significant impact on need restoration. In sum, our findings highlight that Ostracism Online is a useful tool to connect the research area of social media and ostracism.

Computers in Human Behavior