Title: Online Social Networks as a Terror Management Mechanism: The Effect of Death Anxiety on Facebook Use

Year of Publication: March - 2015
Page Numbers: 140-152
Authors: Judith Partouche-Sebban
Conference Name: The Third International Conference on E-Technologies and Business on the Web (EBW2015)
- France


Death is source of mystery, fascination and fear and the deny of death is at the basis of the human motivation [1]. Terror Management Theory [2] suggests that death awareness and the fundamental instinct of self-preservation create a potential for anxiety that individuals try to buffer by using different mechanisms oriented toward meaning and self-esteem striving. While existing research provides understanding on the possible role of close relationships to fight against anxiety [3], research on how specifically online interactions may serve as a terror mechanism is lacking. This research seeks to examine the relationship between death anxiety and online interactions, and especially Facebook use. In this perspective, a quantitative study was conducted among 181 French participants and hypotheses were tested using Hayes' method [4]. Results show a positive relationship between death anxiety and Facebook use, as Facebook is a means to present a valuable self-image and gain social recognition. Contributions for social marketing in particular and limits of the study are discussed