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      WhatsApp and Wellbeing: A study on WhatsApp usage, communication quality and stress


      Proceedings of the 31st International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2017) (HCI)

      digital make-believe, with delegates considering our expansive

      3 - 6 July 2017

      WhatsApp, Wellbeing, Usage mode, Communication quality, Last Seen, Read Receipts

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


          A considerable part of everyday communication is online based nowadays. To imagine life without the daily (or even hourly) usage of WhatsApp seems impossible for many people. The present exploratory study (N=135) takes a closer look at the usage of WhatsApp and the psychological consequences. Our study highlights correlations and differences of the usage and experience of specific WhatsApp features (single chats and group chats, Last Seen and Read Receipts) with perceived communication quality and wellbeing, also drawing relations to psychological theory such as human needs framework and need to belong. A high number of single chats was positively correlated with perceived communication profundity but also with perceived stress, and waste of time. Moreover, wellbeing was affected by the individual usage mode and experience of WhatsApp features. For example, perceived stress was significantly higher among participants with active usage of Read Receipts than with passive usage and especially participants who feel stressed by Read Receipts, agreeing to be more relaxed without them, considered WhatsApp communication a waste of time. We discuss implications of our findings on the level of personal usage behaviour as well as HCI research and design in general. We highlight the challenges for the individual to customize technology to support a healthy use in daily life. Finally, the present study emphasizes the need for user experience evaluation on a fine-grained level, taking focus on single features and their consequences, and recognising how their activation or deactivation can eventually change the product character as a whole.

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          Most cited references 11

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          The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation.

          A hypothesized need to form and maintain strong, stable interpersonal relationships is evaluated in light of the empirical literature. The need is for frequent, nonaversive interactions within an ongoing relational bond. Consistent with the belongingness hypothesis, people form social attachments readily under most conditions and resist the dissolution of existing bonds. Belongingness appears to have multiple and strong effects on emotional patterns and on cognitive processes. Lack of attachments is linked to a variety of ill effects on health, adjustment, and well-being. Other evidence, such as that concerning satiation, substitution, and behavioral consequences, is likewise consistent with the hypothesized motivation. Several seeming counterexamples turned out not to disconfirm the hypothesis. Existing evidence supports the hypothesis that the need to belong is a powerful, fundamental, and extremely pervasive motivation.
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            What is satisfying about satisfying events? Testing 10 candidate psychological needs.

            Three studies compared 10 candidate psychological needs in an attempt to determine which are truly most fundamental for humans. Participants described "most satisfying events" within their lives and then rated the salience of each of the 10 candidate needs within these events. Supporting self-determination theory postulates (Ryan & Deci, 2000)--autonomy, competence, and relatedness, were consistently among the top 4 needs, in terms of both their salience and their association with event-related affect. Self-esteem was also important, whereas self-actualization or meaning, physical thriving, popularity or influence, and money-luxury were less important. This basic pattern emerged within three different time frames and within both U.S. and South Korean samples and also within a final study that asked, "What's unsatisfying about unsatisfying events?" Implications for hierarchical theories of needs are discussed.
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              Facebook’s emotional consequences: Why Facebook causes a decrease in mood and why people still use it


                Author and article information

                July 2017
                July 2017
                : 1-6
                Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
                © Blabst et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of British HCI 2017 – Digital Make-Believe. Sunderland, UK.

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

                Proceedings of the 31st International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2017)
                Sunderland, UK
                3 - 6 July 2017
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                digital make-believe, with delegates considering our expansive
                Product Information: 1477-9358 BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page):
                Electronic Workshops in Computing


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