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Self Esteem And Social Media Essay

1601 words - 7 pages

Self-esteem and Social Media
Social media has taken over the world of communication and has changed the ways in which we communicate on a daily basis. It is extremely influential on our lives because of how easily we are able to access these mediums of communication. I’m intrigued by the effects that social media has on people’s perceptions of their self-worth. Almost all of the social networking sites seem to measure, at least to some extent, the popularity level or status of its users. All have a number of ‘followers’ or ‘friends’ which if there’s a high number of followers or friends that seems to elevate a person’s popularity level or their online status. This in turn could make their self-esteem or ego rise, whereas if their follower level is low it may disappoint or aggravate that user. All of these sites also offer areas where followers can ‘like’ pictures or posts, ‘comment’ on these pictures/posts, ‘share’ the post, and what have you. How important are ‘likes’ and whatnot to our actual self-esteem? Do we value online popularity the same way or more than we value real-life interactions? How could this affect the mental health of those who use these networking sites? Is this kind of online community promoting more narcissistic persons in the community? So many questions… I’m not alone in asking these questions. I’m convinced that social media has a negative influence on the self-esteem of its users.
The University of Salford in the UK did a study last year on social media’s effects on self-esteem and anxiety, and reported that 50% of their 298 participants said that their “use of social networks like Facebook and Twitter makes their lives worse”. (Medical Daily) The study also reported that participants said that their self-esteem suffers when they compare their own accomplishments to those of their online friends. (Medical Daily) In addition to this, a quarter of participants cited work or relationship difficulties because of “online confrontations”, and more than half reported that they feel “worried or uncomfortable” when they can’t access Facebook or email. (Medical Daily) This study concluded that social media causes low self-esteem and anxiety. It is apparent that most of those who use social media are more likely to post only positive things that are occurring in their lives. This projected flawlessness may affect those who use social media. There is a study that has come out of two German universities where researchers released details from joint studies exploring how the mass so-called “perfect lives” on Facebook can cause envy and distress. (Selfie-Loathing) The studies showed that one in three respondents felt more dissatisfied with their own lives after spending time on the site. (Selfie-Loathing) Viewing the number of birthday greetings and “likes” were big culprits. Unprecedented access to other people’s photos also triggered emotional pain and resentment. (Selfie-Loathing) Belmont-based clinical...

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