Teenagers tend to gravitate towards a group that is highly susceptible to negative psychological and behavioral outcomes from social media use. Because teenagers’ behaviors are easily shaped by the social context to which they belong, it is likely that parents and friends might be the key persons who have a strong influence on the behavioral outcomes that teenagers develop from social media use. Given the concern about the negative consequences of social media use by teenagers, this research aims to explore the relationship between social media use intensity and the tendency of teenagers to engage in social comparison and envy.
Survey data were collected from 250 teenagers using a snowball sampling. Results from a partial least-squares regression showed that the positive relationship between social media use intensity and envy was significantly higher in teenagers whose parents compared children and teenagers in a peer-group which was characterized by high in-group competition. However, the positive relationship that social media use intensity had with social comparison was significantly higher only in teenagers who are in a peer-group characterized by a high in-group competition.