The relationship between online vigilance and affective well-being in everyday life: Combining smartphone logging with experience sampling


Through communication technology, users find themselves constantly connected to others to such an extent that they routinely develop a mind-set of connectedness. This mind-set has been defined as online vigilance. Although there is a large body of research on media use and well-being, the question of how online vigilance impacts well-being remains unanswered. In this preregistered study, we combine experience sampling and smartphone logging to address the relation of online vigilance and affective well-being in everyday life. Seventy-five Android users answered eight daily surveys over five days (N = 1,615) whilst having their smartphone use logged. Thinking about smartphone-mediated social interactions (i.e., the salience dimension of online vigilance) was negatively related to affective well-being. However, it was far more important whether those thoughts were positive or negative. No other dimension of online vigilance was robustly related to affective well-being. Taken together, our results suggest that online vigilance does not pose a serious threat to affective well-being in everyday life.

Media Psychology