Title: Culture, corruption, suicide, happiness and global social media use: a cross-cultural perspective

Authors: Adam Acar

Addresses: 9-1, Gakuen-higashi-machi, Nishi-ku, Kobe 651-2187, Japan

Abstract: This study was conducted to answer this simple question: 'Can cultural values explain global social media use?' Along with cultural dimensions introduced by past studies we also added several demographic, socio-economic and personality variables into this study that generated quite interesting findings. We found that there are low levels of suicide, more happiness and more corruption in societies that use social media heavily. We also observed that GDP per capita and median age are negatively related with social media use. Self-esteem stood out as important variable related to social media use intensity along with emotional expressiveness, openness and conscientiousness. Contrary to the common view, nation-level social capital achievement was negatively related with social media use and there was absolutely no relationship between high-context and low-context communication characteristics and local social media use. Some other findings also indicated that conservative and collectivistic countries use social media more often than do individualistic and developed countries. Schwartz's cultural dimensions and the results of the GLOBE study accounted for a considerable amount of variation in country-level social media use where Hofstede and Trompenaars' cultural dimensions were insignificant. Since most of the cultural values failed to explain the intensity of social media use, we also developed a cross-cultural online communication framework called cross-cultural self and others' worth.

Keywords: culture; corruption; suicide; happiness; privacy; cross-cultural perspective; Japan; cultural values; global social media use; Facebook; demographic variables; socio-economic variables; personality variables; GDP per capita; median age; self-esteem; emotional expressiveness; openness; conscientiousness; social capital achievement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2014.062947

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2014 Vol.10 No.3, pp.357 - 400

Published online: 26 Jul 2014 *

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