Who needs social networking? An empirical enquiry into the capability of Facebook to meet human needs and satisfaction with life

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Social Network Sites (SNS) have been the topic of much scholarly and public debate for the most part of the 21st century. A number of studies have investigated the benefits and drawbacks to using SNS, with Facebook the largest example boasting billions of active monthly users. In recent months, media commentary has raised a number of concerning cases surrounding Facebook’s use of data, its connection with other organizations and its legitimacy, making a number of open public calls to abandon the platform. However, active users still number in the billions, raising the question, “does Facebook achieve something on a fundamental human and social level that users are willing to overlook the potential drawback to its use?” Using Maslow’s needs hierarchy, this study adopts a survey approach (n=316) and explores the capacity for Facebook to satisfy human needs. Findings identify Facebook as a useful tool to fulfil human needs, which predict continued Facebook use intentions of participants, and further, satisfaction with life. These findings offer a broad-based view of Facebook use and its resonance with key motivators of behavior, supporting both Maslow’s needs hierarchy and highlighting the importance of need fulfilment for continued service use and satisfaction with life.


Original languageEnglish
Article number106153
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2019


  • Social Media, Facebook, Abraham Maslow, Human Needs, Satisfaction with Life