Can Social Media Really Affect Self-Esteem?
Social media is an interesting phenomenon. People of all ages rely on social networking sites these days to not only keep in touch with friends and family, but also share photos and personal content. Over time, people have put an unusual amount of stock into the attention their social media posts get from friends and family — and their might be more to that than you’d think.
Likes And Self-Confidence
On sites like Facebook and Twitter, liking and favoriting posts and photos has become a major part of many people’s day. In fact, half of all Facebook users like at least one post per day. A new study showed the interesting correlation between the way people react to Facebook likes and whether or not they have a sense of purpose.
“We found that having a sense of purpose allowed people to navigate virtual feedback with more rigidity and persistence. With a sense of purpose, they’re not so malleable to the number of likes they receive,” Cornell University professor Anthony Burrow, the study’s co-author, said. “Purposeful people noticed the positive feedback, but did not rely on it to feel good about themselves.”
Those who continually check social media for new likes on photos and posts might be inviting negative emotions and reactions due to a lack of a sense of purpose.
“Otherwise, on days when you receive few likes, you’ll feel worse. Your self-esteem would be contingent on what other people say and think,” Burrow said. “ Over time that’s not healthy, that’s not adaptive. You want to show up with rigidity: ‘I know who I am and I feel good about that.’”
If you find yourself relying heavily on the amount of likes or comments your Facebook posts to give you a sense of purpose, you should consider finding something outside of social media to try and combat that dependence.
Selfies Boost Self-Esteem
In a recent study that examined the effects of taking photos on social media and self-esteem, subjects were divided into three groups. The first group was asked to take a selfie every single day over the course of the three-week study. The second group was instructed to take a daily photo of things that made them happy, and the third group was asked to take a photo of things they think can make others happy.
After the study concluded, researchers surveyed the subjects’ moods and compared them with their mood during the first week. All three groups saw significant improvement in their daily moods just by taking a photo every day.
“We were not entirely surprised that users increased their positive feelings after conducting these exercises by taking photos,” Yu Chen, the study’s author, said.
Manage Your Dependence
When it comes to social media, it’s important to be aware of how much it affects you on a daily basis. Not only can it become an addiction, it can also impact your self-esteem negatively if you put too much stock into how much attention a post gets. People can get so addicted to the feeds, it’s almost like a gambling addiction, and in some areas, a loss of control.
However, several studies have shown a correlation between taking selfies and a high level of self-confidence — so you might want to start snapping some selfies on a daily basis to give yourself a boost of self-esteem. Just try to be aware of how much you care about the likes you’re getting on them, because the emotional and mental effects can be devastating if you’re not careful, most of all realize – it’s just social media – and social media moods change daily!