Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Online Networks and Subjective Well‐Being: The Effect of “Big Five Personality Traits”

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Abstract:  This article provides an empirical examination of how online social networks affect subjective well‐being, namely enquiring if networks mediate the effect of personality on subjective well‐being of the individuals who use those networks. We use the theories of complementarity of face‐to‐face and online networks, preferential attachment, and the “Big Five Personality Traits” to test the following hypothesis: Given that online and offline networks complement each other as integrative factors that generate happiness, greater use of online networks would imply greater happiness. We also hypothesize that networks mediate the effect of personality on subjective well‐being. Data was compiled from interviews of 4,922 people aged 18 years and older, carried out by the Centre for Sociological Research of Spain in 2014 and 2016. The results confirm the hypothesis and show how online networks, when controlled for personality traits, have a significant and even greater effect on subjective well‐being than face‐to‐face networks.

Keywords:  face‐to‐face networks; happiness; ICTs; online networks; personality; subjective well‐being



© Félix Requena, Luis Ayuso. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.