Cancelled: Effect of Cyber-Ostracism on the Mental Condition of Instagram Users

Cleoputri Yusainy(1*), Intan Liana Putri(2), Lita Rakhmi Fadliilah(3), Gracia Maria Veronica(4), Ircham Darmawan(5), Wahyu Wicaksono(6)

(1) Departemen Psikologi Universitas Brawijaya; Placebo Research Group Indonesia, Indonesia
(2) Departemen Psikologi Universitas Brawijaya; Placebo Research Group Indonesia, Indonesia
(3) Departemen Psikologi Universitas Brawijaya; Placebo Research Group Indonesia, Indonesia
(4) Departemen Psikologi Universitas Brawijaya; Placebo Research Group Indonesia, Indonesia
(5) Departemen Psikologi Universitas Brawijaya; Placebo Research Group Indonesia, Indonesia
(6) Placebo Research Group Indonesia, Indonesia
(*) Corresponding Author


This study aims to determine the effect of social media cancellation or cyber-ostracism on the mental condition of Instagram users based on the temporal need-threat model, as well as to assess the potential role of trait mindfulness in managing its negative effects. University student participants (M age = 21.248; SD = 1.21) were divided into cyber-ostracism scenario (n = 180) versus inclusion scenario (n = 179) groups and were required to complete the mood, four basic needs, and trait mindfulness scales. The results showed that cyber-ostracism had greater impact on the threat of the four basic needs compared to the mood of participants. Furthermore, trait mindfulness was found to predict lower threats to the needs of belonging, control, and meaningful existence, but not to self-esteem. The results also showed that the inclusion of trait mindfulness reduced the influence of cyber-ostracism on the fulfillment of control needs. These findings are expected to contribute to the understanding of the dynamics of cyber-ostracism and its emotional effects, as well as bridge the gap between the public phenomenon of cancel culture and ostracism literature.


Instagram, basic needs, cyber-ostracism, mood, trait mindfulness

Full Text:



Alhabash, S., & Ma, M. (2017). A tale of four platforms: Motivations and uses of facebook, twitter, instagram, and snapchat among college students?. Social Media + Society, 1-13.

Baumeister, R. F., & Robson, D. A. (2021). Belongingness and the modern schoolchild: On loneliness, socioemotional health, self-esteem, evolutionary mismatch, online sociality, and the numbness of rejection. Australian Journal of Psychology, 73(1), 103-111.

Brown, K. W., Berry, D., Eichel, K., Beloborodova, P., Rahrig, H., & Britton, W. B. (2022). Comparing impacts of meditation training in focused attention, open monitoring, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on emotion reactivity and regulation: Neural and subjective evidence from a dismantling study. Psychophysiology, 59(7), e14024.

Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefit of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(4), 822-848.

Buelow, M. T., & Wirth, J. H. (2017). Decisions in the face of known risks: Ostracism increases risky decision-making. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 69, 210-217.

Chan, K. T. (2022). Emergence of the ‘digitalized self’ in the age of digitalization. Computers in Human Behavior Reports, 6, 100191.

Chester, D. S., & DeWall, C. N. (2016). Combating the sting of rejection with the pleasure of revenge: A new look at how emotion shapes aggression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112(3), 413-430.

Devianti, I. (2022, Desember 26). Cancel culture: Pemboikotan ramai di media sosial untuk matikan karier seseorang? Liputan 6.

Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook 'friends:' Social capital and college students' use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4), 1143-1168.

Feher, K. (2019). Digital identity and the online self: Footprint strategies – an exploratory and comparative research study. Journal of Information Science, 47(2), 192-205.

Firth, J., Torous, J., Stubbs, B., Firth, J. A., Steiner, G. Z., Smith, L., & Sarris, J. (2019). The “online brain”: How the internet may be changing our cognition. World Psychiatry, 18(2), 119-129.

Gerber, J. P., Chang, S.-H., & Reimel, H. (2017). Construct validity of Williams' ostracism needs threat scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 115, 50–53.

Güzel, H. Y., & Şahin, D. N. (2018). The effect of ostracism on the accessibility of uncertainty-related thoughts. Noro psikiyatri arsivi, 55(2), 183–188.

Hales, A. H., Wood, N. R., & Williams, K. D. (2021). Navigating COVID-19: Insights from research on social ostracism. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 24(2), 306–310.

Hartgerink, C. H. J., van Beest, I., Wicherts, J. M., & Williams, K. D. (2015). The ordinal effects of ostracism: A meta-analysis of 120 cyberball studies. PLoS ONE, 10(5).

Hatun, O., & Demirci, I. (2020). Developing the cyberostracism scale and examining its psychometric characteristics. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 2, 1063-1082

Hassani, H., Huang, X., & Silva, E. (2021). The human digitalisation journey: Technology first at the expense of humans?. Information, 12(7), 267.

Hayes, R. A., Wesselmann, E.D., & Carr. C. T. (2018). When nobody “likes” you: Perceived ostracism through paralinguistic digital affordances within social media. Social Media + Society, 4(3).

Hendraswara, A. A., Hutabarat, H. N., & Hanam. Y. (2020). Gambaran tipe self-presentation melalui konten foto instagram pada mahasiswi. Psympathic: Jurnal Ilmiah Psikologi, 7(2), 299-314.

Hudd, T., & Moscovitch, D. A. (2021). Social pain and the role of imagined social consequences: Why personal adverse experiences elicit social pain, with or without explicit relational devaluation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 95.

Jaidka, K. (2022) Cross-platform- and subgroup-differences in the well-being effects of twitter, instagram, and facebook in the United States. Scientific Reports, 12, 3271.

Jiang, T., & Chen, Z. (2019). Meaning in life accounts for the association between long-term ostracism and depressive symptoms: The moderating role of self-compassion. The Journal of Social Psychology, 160, 535-547.

Kong, D. T. (2016). Ostracism perception as a multiplicative function of trait self-esteem, mindfulness, and facial emotion recognition ability. Personality and Individual Differences, 93, 68–73.

Korte, M. (2020). The impact of the digital revolution on human brain and behavior: Where do we stand?. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 22(2), 101–111.

Legate, N., DeHaan, C. R., Weinstein, N., & Ryan, R. M. (2013). Hurting you hurts me too: The psychological costs of complying with ostracism. Psychological Science, 24, 583–588.

McGinty, E. E., Presskreischer, R., Han, H., & Barry, C. L. (2020). Psychological distress and loneliness reported by US adults in 2018 and April 2020. Journal of the American Medical Association, 324(1), 93–94.

Ouwerkerk, J. W., & Johnson, B. K. (2016). Motives for online friending and following: The dark side of social network site connections. Social Media + Society, 2(3).

Pyszczynski, T., Solomon, S., & Greenberg, J. (2015). Thirty years of terror management theory. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 52, 1-70.

Pagnini, F., Bercovitz, K., & Langer, E. (2016). Perceived control and mindfulness: Implications for clinical practice. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 26(2), 91-102.

Ren, D., Wesselmann, E. D., & van Beest, I. (2021). Seeking solitude after being ostracized: A replication and beyond. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 47(3), 426–440.

Romano, A. (2020, August 25). Why we can’t stop fighting about cancel culture. Vox.

Ryan, R. M., Donald, J. N., & Bradshaw, E. L. (2021). Mindfulness and motivation: A process view using self-determination theory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 30(4), 300–306.

Schneider, F. M., Zwillich, B., Bindl, M. J., Hopp, F. R., Reich, S., & Vorderer, P. (2017). Social media ostracism: The effects of being excluded online. Computers in Human Behavior, 73, 385–393.

Sheldon, P., & Bryant, K. (2016). Instagram: Motives for its use and relationship to narcissism and contextual age. Computers in Human Behavior, 58, 89-97.

Silarus, A. (2015). Sadar penuh, hadir utuh. TransMedia Pustaka.

Smith, R., Morgan, J., & Monks, C. (2017). Students' perceptions of the effect of social media ostracism on wellbeing. Computers in Human Behavior, 68, 276–285.

Statista Research Departement. (2022, March 8). Countries with the most Instagram users 2022.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (2016). Cancel culture.

Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(6), 1063–1070.

Wang, T., Mu, W., Li, X., Gu, X., & Duan, W. (2022). Cyber-ostracism and wellbeing: A moderated mediation model of need satisfaction and psychological stress. Current Psychology: A Journal for Diverse Perspectives on Diverse Psychological Issues, 41(7), 4931–4941.

Wesselmann, E. D., Ren, D., & Williams, K. D. (2015). Motivations for responses to ostracism. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 40.

Williams, K. D. (2009). Ostracism: A temporal need-threat model. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.),. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 41, (pp. 275-314). Elsevier Academic Press.

Wolf, W., Levordashka, A., Ruff, J. R. Steven, K., Lueckmann, J-M., & Williams, K. D. (2015). Ostracism online: A social media ostracism paradigm. Behavioural Research Method, 47, 361–373.

Yusainy, C., Akhrani, L. A., Nurwanti, R., & Dara, Y. P. (2017). Tit-for-tat today: My selfie, your reputation. Proceedings of the International Conference on Socio-Political Entrepreneurship: Policy and Practices toward Asian Centrality (pp. 81-89). Universitas Brawijaya.

Yusainy, C., Nurwanti, R., Dharmawan, I. R. J, Andari, R., Mahmudah, M. U., Tiyas, R. R., Husnaini, B. H. M., & Anggono, C. O. (2018). Mindfulness sebagai strategi regulasi emosi. Jurnal Psikologi, 17(2), 174-188.

Yusainy, C. (2019). Panduan riset eksperimental dalam psikologi (Edisi revisi). Universitas Brawijaya Press.

Yusainy, C., Chan, D. K. C., Hikmiah, Z., & Anggono, C. O. (2019a). Physical activity in Indonesian university students: The contradictory roles of dispositional mindfulness and self-control. Psychology, Health, and Medicine, 24(4), 446-455.

Yusainy, C., Karti, P. I. M., Ikhsan, R. R., & Hikmiah, Z. (2019b). Left unheard: Detecting mood and aggression through ostracism and trait mindfulness. Anima Indonesian Psychological Journal, 34(2), 93-104.

Zhang, M., Zhang, Y., & Kong, Y. (2019). Interaction between social pain and physical pain. Brain Science Advances, 5(4), 265–273.



  • There are currently no refbacks.


View My Stats

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.