How does social media impact our self-esteem?
What is social media?
Social media is a digital platform that people use for communication, interaction, content sharing, collaboration and even for business. The invention of social media caused people from all around the world to connect to each other faster and more easily. Social media can be in the form of websites or applications on devices such as facebook, instagram, twitter, and tiktok that allows users to share content including videos, pictures, stories, or personal information. Due to how smart today’s technologies are, information tends to spread rapidly over the social media which also encourages the spread of false information or fake news that lead to misunderstanding of people who received the information. It is hard to screen the information received especially in the digital era. What we see on the internet nowadays may not be all the information that we are supposed to receive. It is necessary to know the background information of the media before trusting the content on social media. However, most of the social media users tend to not consider the information on the internet which can cause some bad effects to those users mentally since it is such an influential platform for people of all ages nowaday.
Social media has a huge influence on people’s live
Social media can influence people’s lifestyles. Today’s people tend to post everything about their life on social media like it is their everyday routine which can also be unsafe and unhealthy to the user. Since everyone is using social media, it can impact our real life. Social media platforms become one of the ways that people use to judge others in real life. It happens to many people, especially teeneger. People nowadays care about their image on social media. The more stylish your social media is, the more popular you are. And people who have more followers on social media tend to have more influence than others and we can call this group of people an “Influencer” causing other users to want to be like these groups of people which can sometimes be dangerous to their mental health. It is obviously noticeable since many brands start to hire influencers on social media to promote their product on the influencer’s personal account and sometimes the product becomes popular since other social media users want to use products like popular people or influencers and it can be seen a lot in the fashion industry. One of the good examples would be the brand called “Celine”, when they decided to hire Lisa from BlackPink, one of the most popular singers in the world with 89.1 million followers on instagram. The picture of Lisa using a bag from Celine causing the value of this brand increased by 118% in 2020. Every celine product that Lisa uses becomes sold out which can be an evidence to prove that the idea of hiring popular people can easily influence people nowadays.
Since social media plays such a huge role in human life. We can not deny that people care about their image on social media. Most social media users share only their good sides of their life on social media or using editing apps to make them look perfect. We can see that even famous models use editing apps even though their body look absolutely perfect causing some people who see that post to have doubts about self-worth and self-confidence because they want to look good like those popular people while also forgetting that what we see on the internet can be fake and many female teenagers are now facing this issue. This issue can be linked with the beauty standard that unnoticeably created through social media. Social media can slowly create beauty standards in society, people tend to give attention to people who are in the beauty standard of that moment and of course, the beauty standard that was created through social media changes rapidly over time. This issue can impact the people who have low self-esteem, causing them to be unconfident or have doubts about how they look.
This issue can be proved by the rise of depression rates linked with the rise of smartphone use in the United states of america. A study from Clinical Psychological Science published in 2017 shows that the depression rates and suicide death rates increse by 33% in the number of teenager with high level of depression symptoms and 31% died from suicide. It happens mostly with female teenagers. The study mention that the increase of depression rates and suicide rate correlated with smartphones use of teenager. Social media is bad for teenager’s self-esteem. Seeing a lot of perfect pictures on social media can cause young people to feel negatively about themselves which can lead to depression. Moreover, cyber bullying can be found commonly among teenagers which causes a huge impact to mental health and even their life. Since social media is a platform where people can post or comment everything about a person without seeing each other face to face, a person tends to have courage to say anything or criticise a person on social media. Seeing harmful comments on social media is so normal nowadays and a person who receives a lot of negative comments from people could possibly have bad mental health and self doubt.
When people rely on social media too much, it can lead to the idea of being unable to distinguish the physical reality and virtual reality, we call it Hyperreality. People nowadays use their smartphones almost all the time and social media is one of the factors that cause people to forget about the real world since social media has become one of the places where people can easily connect to each other no matter where they are, so people can easily socialize virtually all the time. People nowadays rely too much on social media and start ignoring surrounding people because they only focus on their online world. This can cause a very big problem to their physical and mental health. Doing activities physically seems to be more beneficial than sitting on their phone all day. When social media becomes one of the most important things in human life, it becomes one of the factors that people use to judge others in real life. Many people have to work very hard to make themselves look good on social media while forgetting about themselves in real life on both physical and mental health.
How to prevent social media from affecting our self-esteem?
- Get enough sleep
Spending too much time scrolling through social media can be such a waste of time. Spending less time on social media and getting enough sleep can help you release stress that is unnoticeably created by social media. A research from Global Pediatric Health said that lack of sleep can negatively affect the mood of teenagers and lack of sleep can also lead to depression. A study also points out that 60% of adolescents check their phone before going to bed which can cause bad sleep behaviour. On the other hand, instead of spending time on social media, getting enough sleep can better your mood and helps your brian to work better.
- Don’t rely on the number of like and comment too much
People might think that getting a lot of likes on social media will make them feel happy and important. In contrast, A study from British Psychological Society found that receiving a lot of likes on social media doesn’t make people feel better about themselves when they feel bad. Social media interaction doesn’t affect how people feel in a positive way.Moreover, getting just a few likes on social media doesn’t mean that other people hate you. Likes and comments on social media are just a number of interactions of social media users.
To sum up…
Social media can be a good platform for human interaction, communication and business. People nowadays are connected by social media such as Instagram, Facebook, or twitter and it is now becoming part of human life. People share mostly everything on social media. There is so much information on social media, it is hard for people to distinguish real and fake information on the internet. Since social media play such a huge role in human life, people want to look perfect on their social media so we can see a lot of fake body pictures or people using editing apps to make them look good causing some users on social media to have negative thoughts about themselves and lead to low self-esteem. When social media is so important in today’s society, it is challenging for people to distinguish reality with virtual society. In order to avoid letting social media influence our life, we have to always make sure that our mental health is not affected by social media, and also take care of our physical health by getting enough sleep and reducing the screen time per day. The most important thing is do not rely on the number of likes and comments too much because it doesn’t make us feel better about ourselves.
Leave a Reply