Social Media Use at Work
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Social media use permeates everyday life, including work lives of employees. Banning social media use at work may is not entirely possible, therefore it is pertinent to question whether all social media use is detrimental for employees and their employing organization. Social media research to date has found conflicting results. This research provides unique insight into within-person social media use and its outcomes, and opens an avenue for investigating social media using a new technology-independent measure. The study is anchored in the concepts of role theory from social psychology. The theory of role accumulation suggests that social media can be used to support interpersonal relationships, which may improve work-life balance. This study developed and validated scales to measure social media use over three dimensions of social interaction- private, public and professional. Daily social media use at work and its relationships to interpersonal workplace trust, job stress, organizational citizenship behavior toward individuals (OCBI), job satisfaction and life satisfaction were then investigated, using multilevel modeling on repeated measures within individuals. Responses from 91 of the 160 individuals recruited using Qualtrics' Panel, and surveyed daily over the course of three weeks, were valid and included in the analysis. This research found that on days the respondents used social media for private and professional reasons, more than their own average use, they exhibited higher OCBI. This effect is progressively pronounced for people with higher preference for integration of work and nonwork. On the days that respondents used more social media for public interaction, they experienced higher job and life satisfaction. Interestingly, on days respondents displayed higher than usual interpersonal trust, their job satisfaction and OCBI were lower. Moreover, on days respondents reported a higher OCBI, than their own average, they also reported higher stress and work-to-life conflict. This indicates that excessive interpersonal trust at the workplace could be detrimental to OCBI and job satisfaction, and that there are costs attached to citizenship behavior, in terms of stress and work-to-life conflict. Another interesting finding was that social media use was not related to job stress or work-to-life conflict at within-person level, but was related to both at between-person level. People who used more public social media and less private social media had higher job stress and lower work-to-life conflict, than others.