Social media use has grown tremendously over the past decade with no slowing down in sight. In our society today, it is the norm to post what we may be doing or thinking at any time rather that be by words or pictures. This isn’t all a bad thing either. We have made new friendships, kept in touch with family members and maybe even met that special someone through these networking sites. As a whole, we are now able to be more conveniently connected to those around us. From the article, Benefits of internet and social media, says, “The internet and social media provide young people with a range of benefits, and opportunities to empower themselves in a variety of ways. Young people can maintain social connections and support networks that otherwise wouldn't be possible, and can access more information than ever before.”(Benefits of internet,n.d.). Now think about how different your life can be depending on how you feel about yourself. Had you not have felt that an attractive person was “out of your league”, you may have introduced yourself and unknowingly met your soulmate. Or if you weren’t so confident in your athletic ability, you may not have tried out for that sport in high school, which ended up earning you a full-ride scholarship to college. What this means is that one’s attitude towards oneself can affect their life in nearly every way. Recently, the way people see themselves has been revolutionized by the transcendence of social media in society. Sunstrum (2014) stated, “One factor for the high rates of depression seen in social media-friendly people is the inconsistency they observe between their ideal cyber self and their self-image. The desire to be seen positively has taught us to silence our troubles and we now have no idea how to express inner turmoil without feeling like we’re accepting social defeat. For obvious reasons, people do not advertise their negative traits on their social profiles, nor do they pose unflattering pictures. Because of this strict control of the way we are viewed, we are often fooled into believing other people’s lives are much better than our own.” Thus, social media has now given people more ways to express themselves and communicate with others, but with that has made it more challenging to maintain a positive self-esteem.
In my studies of attempting to find a correlation between social media and self- esteem, I chose to survey other fellow social networking users to see how websites like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter affect themselves negatively, positively, or no significant difference. I began by recruiting users from 1 of the 3 sites mentioned above by making a post about my study. After the survey was sent out, I ended up receiving 25 different responses from subjects ranging between the ages of 20 and 55, male and female. Each survey included 10 open-ended questions, all of which were identical. In the survey, I addressed personal topics regarding self-esteem in connection to social media. All participants were asked to be as honest as possible to provide the most accurate results.
After analyzing all of the responses I received, every subject admitted to being reliant upon social media with most saying that it is the first thing they do when they wake up and before going to sleep at night. Around half of those respondents agreed that social media has had a negative effect on their self-esteem currently or at some point while using. High school counselor, Chelby Tarver, stated, “I used to let social media have more control over how I felt about myself, and often, I would have low confidence if I didn’t feel validated by others via “likes” or comments.” College student, Darci Frye, said, “I see some people I went to high school with and if they look better than they did in high school, I become bitter and try to convince myself it's okay to not be thinner but I still take it way too far and feel bad about my...
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