Journal of
Internet and Information Systems

  • Abbreviation: J. Internet Inf. Syst.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6478
  • DOI: 10.5897/JIIS
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 21

Full Length Research Paper

Social media and catharsis in Africa: Examining the role of WhatsApp in venting stress in women

Gregory Gondwe
  • Gregory Gondwe
  • Department of Journalism, College of Media, Communication and Information, University of Colorado, USA.
  • Google Scholar
Evariste Some
  • Evariste Some
  • College of Engineering and Applied Science, Technology Cybersecurity and Policy, University of Colorado, USA.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 05 February 2020
  •  Accepted: 04 May 2020
  •  Published: 31 August 2020


This paper investigates the role that social media, and particularly WhatsApp mobile applications plays in venting stress and other related aggressive behaviors among African couples. It seeks to examine the relationship that exists between WhatsApp usage and being happy, or rather catharsis. It leverages the existing datasets from the Afro-barometer (Africa Tracking Internet Progress-ATIP) website. Essentially the website maintains archives for all African network development and telecommunication datasets. Therefore, this study uses the aforementioned to argue that married women belonging to WhatsApp social groups in Africa have higher levels of catharsis. In other words, the finding of this study indicates that there was a strong and significant correlation between the time spent on social media (Duration-Drt) and the feeling of belonging (Bln) and therefore, catharsis (Eph).

Key words: WhatsApp, catharsis, closed-groups, Africa, women, culture.