The Dark side of using online social networks: A review of individuals' negative experiences

Layla Boroon, Babak Abedin, Eila Erfani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
373 Downloads (Pure)


Research on online social networks (OSNs) has focused overwhelmingly on their benefits and potential, with their negative effects overlooked. This study builds on the limited existing work on the so-called ‘dark side’ of using OSNs. The authors conducted a systematic review of selected databases and identified 46 negative effects of using OSNs from the users’ perspective, which is a rich spectrum of users’ negative experiences. This article then proposed nomenclature and taxonomy for the dark side of using OSNs by grouping these negative effects into six themes: cost of social exchange, cyberbullying, low performance, annoying content, privacy concerns and security threats. This study then conducted structured interviews with experts to confirm the sense-making and validity of the proposed taxonomy. This study discusses the confirmed taxonomy and outlines directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number34
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Global Information Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Adverse Consequence
  • Dark Side
  • Negative Effects
  • Online Social Networks
  • Adverse Consequences


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