The Psychological Consequences of Envying Influencers on Instagram

Jung Ah Lee, So Young Lee, Yuhosua Ryoo, Woo Jin Kim, Yongjun Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines how being envious toward social media influencers (SMIs) relates to users' affective well-being. An online survey was conducted in which 305 U.S. participants viewed to 20 posts of an SMI and subsequently measured their affective well-being, envy, and inspiration toward the SMI, and self-esteem levels. The results revealed a direct negative relationship between envy and affective well-being, but a positive indirect effect through inspiration. Furthermore, individuals' self-esteem moderates the relationship such that the positive relationship between envy and affective well-being through inspiration is stronger among those with high levels of self-esteem. Moreover, inspiration varies between different influencer categories, that is, participants who viewed fitness influencers reported the greatest amount of inspiration, followed by fashion, beauty, and entertainment influencers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-708
Number of pages6
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov 1


  • envy
  • inspiration
  • Instagram
  • self-esteem
  • social media influencers
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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