Prior literature suggests that it is becoming increasingly pervasive for social media users to experience social media fatigue. Although researchers have explored many possible antecedents of social media fatigue, the additive influences and mechanisms of service provider and user drivers are unclear. Drawing on the conversation of resources theory, the present paper identified information overload and system features overload in using social media, together with users’ privacy invasion and cyberbullying perception as critical antecedents of emotional exhaustion, which was further associated with social media fatigue. Data were collected from 2102 users of the social media, and we employed structural equation modeling (SEM) and Bootstrap to test the proposed theoretical model. The results show that both social-media-related factors (information overload and system features overload) and user-related factors (privacy invasion and cyberbullying) significantly influence emotional exhaustion. Furthermore, these social-media-related and user-related factors indirectly impact social media fatigue through emotional exhaustion. These findings enrich the social media fatigue literature by expanding the antecedence space of social media fatigue and by unveiling the underlying psychological mechanism of the fatigue process. Our research also benefits practitioners by providing implications regarding social media application design, which could play an important role in improving user experiences that facilitate retention.
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