A Meta-Analytical Review of the Determinants of Social Media Discontinuance Intentions

Guangchao Charles Feng*, Xianglin Su, Yiru He

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The use of social media has grown tremendously, but a considerable number of individuals have stopped using it. This meta-analysis aims to examine the factors that contribute to discontinuing social media use by reviewing 88 studies with a cumulative sample size of 42,159, including 33 effect sizes. Our study reveals that various stressors, including messaging overload (CO), social overload (SO), information collection overload (IO), system feature overload (SFO), privacy concerns (PC), and negative emotions such as technostress, fatigue (SNF), guilt, and dissatisfaction, are significantly correlated with social media discontinuance (DUIN). It is worth noting that only gratifications were negatively associated with both discontinuance and fatigue, but not with all other inhibitors. Furthermore, self-disclosure (S-disc), social comparison (SC), and fear of missing out (FoMo), as well as addiction, were significantly associated only with fatigue. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, emphasizing the importance of social media operators balancing content supply with actual user demand to prevent overload, negative emotions, and discontinuance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-550
Number of pages26
JournalMass Communication and Society
Issue number3
Early online date29 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication


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