Effects of Social Media on Self Esteem

Effects of Social Media on Self Esteem

Most of the technological advancements that have happened in the 21st century have been in communication. Social networking has emerged as a basic element of human communication and interaction. The youth have been eager adopters of social networking platforms, using it for various ends. Like with most technologies social media has had its problems. Adolescents, in particular, have had their lives interrupted markedly by social media usage. The main reason is that they are the heaviest users of social media. Nonetheless, the positive and negative impacts of social media usage, particularly, concerning self-esteem weigh out each other. The positive impacts of social media include the promotion of self-documentation, self-representation, and conception, and the development of relationships that positively affect self-esteem. The negative effects of social media include the promotion of cyberbullying, overindulgence leading to poor psychological conditions, as well as reduced self-esteem.

Regarding the impact of self-documentation, certain social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are perfect platforms for journaling life. According to Gulasy (2016), social media platforms are excellent mediums where individuals can record their issues and experiences just like in diaries and journals. An individual may reflect on the memories recorded on social media sites and solicit feelings that may help them in improving their self-esteem. As such, social media is considered as a vital tool in the promotion of benefits associated with positive self-documentation. Individuals can, therefore, prove their existence to others through social media.

Social media is also vital in the development of relationships that affect self-esteem positively. According to Stevens (2017), the youth is fond of using social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to forge relationships and develop social characters. In relation, the youth may have better social lifestyles as they connect with others from different parts of the world. Besides, social media solicits the sending and receiving of positive feedback, thus boosting the user’s self-esteem. Metzler and Scheithauer (2015) also believe that adolescents conceive social media platforms such as Facebook as perfect platforms for creating casual and romantic relationships. From such a viewpoint, social media presents the benefit of improving the youth’s self-esteem.

Some research outcomes argue that self-conception and representation can positively affect children’s self-esteem and help in the fight against cyberbullying. As such, adolescents indulge in social media activities like chatting with friends on Facebook to create the best version of themselves (Metzler & Scheithauer, 2015). Therefore, such a concept of self-presentation helps adolescents to improve their self-esteem. According to Akram and Kumar (2017), young professionals can improve their intellectual capabilities by reaching potential business personalities who could help them market their skills. In this regard, youth are likely to improve their self-esteem.

On the contrary, one must understand that particular behaviors of self-presentation may lead to cyber-bullying. For example, young females who seductively present themselves in social media platforms may be at risk of victimization and cyberbullying. The reason for this is that seductive presentation creates negative attention. Therefore, overindulgence in online activities may have several repercussions mostly on social, personal, and psychological spectra. According to Hunt, Marx, Lipson, and Young (2018), controlling social media platforms’ access may help in the reduction of cyberbullying, contributing to improved self-esteem. Children that access social media less often are likely to show fewer signs of loneliness and depression and, as such, are in good mental health.

Overindulgence in social media activity may reduce psychological fitness, which leads to low self-esteem. According to several research outcomes in the US, adolescents are psychologically affected by the overindulgence in electronic media usage. Twenge and Martin (2018), for instance, noted that adolescents in grades 8 to 12 who spent more hours chatting online and interacting with others through social media expressed traits that typified poor psychological well-being. On the contrary, those children that spend most of their leisure hours pursing physically engaging activities were more psychologically active. In the study, the measurements of psychological fitness included life satisfaction, happiness, and self-esteem. Banyai, et al., (2017) also performed a different study that aimed at determining Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS)’s effectiveness. According to the research outcomes, prolonged usage of social media increased adolescents’ low self-esteem and depression risks. Moreover, female adolescents were found to be at higher risk of social media problems, unlike male adolescents.

Adolescents are mostly considered to face the grievous consequences of social media consumption due to their overindulgence in social media usage. However, they also enjoy the positive impacts of social media usage. Some of the positive impacts of social media that youths are likely to enjoy include promotion of self-documentation, self-representation and conception, and the development of relationships that positively affect self-esteem. On the contrary, negative issues they are likely to face include promotion of cyberbullying, overindulgence leading to low psychological fitness, as well as reduced self-esteem. Luckily, the negative impacts of social media usage can be mitigated. For instance, the BSMAS can be used in the development of school-based programs that focus on reducing the impacts of social media usage among learners. On the other hand, controlling social media platforms’ access may help in the reduction of cyberbullying. The reduction of cyberbullying may help in improving self-esteem among the youth.


Akram, W., & Kumar, R. (2017). A study on positive and negative effects of social media on society. International Journal of Computer Sciences and Engineering, 5(10), 347-354.

Banyai, F.n,Zsila, A., Kiraly, O., Maraz, A., Elekes, Z., Griffiths, M., … Demetrovics, Z. (2017). Problematic social media use: Results from a large-scale nationally representative adolescent sample. PLOS One, 12(1), e0169839. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169839

Gulasy, K. (2016, January 19). How social media affects us positively. The Odyssey Online. Retrieved from https://www.theodysseyonline.com/social-media-affects-positively

Hunt, M., Marx, R., Lipson, C., & Young, J. (2018). No more FOMO: Limiting social media decreases loneliness and depression. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 37(10), 751-768.

Metzler, A., & Scheithauer, H. (2015). Adolescent self-presentation on Facebook and its impact on self-esteem. International Journal of Development Science, 9, 135-145.

Stevens, A. (2017, October 12). Social media: What’s not to like? Science News for Students. Retrieved from org/article/social-media-whats-not”>https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/social-media-whats-not

Twenge, J.N., & Martin, G.N. (2018). Decreases in psychological well-being among American adolescents after 2012 and links to screen time during the rise of smart technology. Emotion, 18(6), 765-780.



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