Understanding the Negative Consequences of Watching Social Live Streaming Among Chinese Viewers

Anan Wan, Linwan Wu


As an emerging media technology, social live streaming has been gaining prevalence worldwide, especially in some East Asian countries such as China. Meanwhile, this media format has received increasing criticism for its negative impact on individual viewers. The present study conducted an online survey among current viewers of social live streaming (N = 244) in China to test a conceptual model that explains how watching live streams leads to undesirable consequences. The findings indicate that viewers’ enjoyment with broadcasters was positively associated with their parasocial relationship with the broadcasters, which in turn led to increased loneliness and addiction among the viewers. Viewers’ perceptions of loneliness were also a direct factor that influenced their addictive media usage. In addition, viewers’ entertainment-seeking motive and social interaction motive were identified as the antecedents to their enjoyment with broadcasters. These findings are believed to provide both theoretical and practical implications for the field of emerging digital media.


social live streaming, entertainment seeking, social interaction, enjoyment, parasocial relationship, loneliness, addiction, negative consequences of digital media

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