mohamed abdelshafe Blogger on the social networking platform Facebook


Social networking sites (SNSs) allow users to connect with each other by overcoming geographical and temporal boundaries and thus empower people to search for social support from online. Social support has been considered a key social value that online users can obtain from SNSs. However, few studies have systematically investigated social support in such a context. Motivated to address this gap, we have developed an advanced and theoretical framework to delineate social support on SNSs by clearly revealing the dimensions of online social support on SNSs and examining their effects on users’ commitment and SNS continuance. Further, we introduce gender as a key moderator and explain in theory how differently men and women perceive the importance of the dimensions in evaluating online social support over SNSs. Our research results indicate that the identified three dimensions (informational support, emotional support, and network management) are important components of the online social support on SNSs, which is positively associated with commitment and continuance. In addition, the weight of each dimension in the evaluation of online social support varies by gender. This study is among the very first to explore online social support in the context of SNS and its effects, and has rich theoretical and practical implications.

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