Understanding envy and users’ responses to envy in the context of social networking sites: A literature review

Helena Wenninger, Christy M K CHEUNG*, Michal Chmielinski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Envy is an ancient theme of interest and various academic disciplines researched the topic in the last decades. With the advance of technologies and the popularity of social networking sites (SNSs), there is a need to comprehend what is new and unique about envy in the SNS environment. To contribute to an improved understanding of this phenomenon, we investigate academic research on envy in the context of SNSs. Particularly, in this work, we review and clarify the concept of envy in the SNS context and how users respond to envy they experienced in an SNS environment. This allows us to (1) better comprehend the conceptualization and theorization of envy in the SNS context, and to (2) identify particularities of users’ responses to envy. Based on our analysis, we observe that there exists a need to contextualize definition, operationalization and theorization further. Responses to SNS-induced envy mirror findings from the offline context with purchase intentions as an interesting and relevant behavioral response for the SNS context, since most revenues are generated by advertisement on these sites. We provide directions for future investigations on the phenomenon of SNS-induced envy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102303
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Early online date26 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Library and Information Sciences

User-Defined Keywords

  • Literature review
  • Responses to envy
  • SNS-induced envy
  • Social media
  • Social networking sites
  • Upward social comparison


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