Negative consumer outcomes from social media use

Information overload, incorrect information, peer pressure – how does social media negatively impact consumers?

Social media has positive outcomes for brands, in that it engages consumers. It has positive outcomes for consumers, in that they have more access to information about products and services. But what about negative outcomes, such as information overload, incorrect information and peer pressure? Our project seeks to investigate these negative aspects to social media use.

How is our increasingly incessant use of social media affecting the decisions we make, not just as consumers, but as individuals? How does it affect our engagement, not just with brands, but with our family and friends?

These are questions we’ll be answering. For years, we have been exploring how brands can best use social media to engage customers and build relationships that are mutually beneficial, but ultimately drive profit. Now, it is time to recognise our duty of care for consumers, particularly young people. How are brands' social media activities – such as the use of influencers – affecting people?

Project goals

This project aims to answer the following:

How does social media help people and their relationships?

How does social media harm people and their relationships?

What is the role of brands in supporting consumers on social media?

What is the role of policy in educating young people around social media use?

Work with us

PhD opportunities

If this is something you are passionate about, please get in touch. There are PhD or research assistant opportunities to explore.
We need PhD students to join our team to help us collect data from a range of online and offline sources, to understand the psychological and marketing implications of using social media in a manner that is cognisant of individual wellbeing.

Project collaborators

Dr Harrigan’s research typically focuses on the positive side of social media, however to fully understand that, it is also important to understand the negatives. Please get in touch if that interests you.

Contact Dr Paul Harrigan

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Research Repository

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