Social Media and Self-Esteem Essay

3946 Words Apr 29th, 2016 16 Pages
Social media and Self-esteem
Anh Phung
Abstract
In this day and age, social media has become an integral part of our lives. It has created a platform for people to share information instantly and communicate with people all around the world. Facebook is the most outstanding example of successful social media network. According to the first quarter 2015 earnings announcement by Facebook, the site has achieved 1.44 billion active users per month, and 65% of which are daily active users. Other social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are also a powerful means of communication. With such a large audience, social networking sites provide ample opportunities to acquire information, network, and connect with friends.
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In order to understand the effect that social media has on self-esteem, we need to understand the construct of self-esteem. According to Coopersmith’s definition, self-esteem is “the evaluation which the individual makes and customarily maintains with regard to himself: it expresses an attitude of approval and indicates the extent to which an individual believes himself to be capable, significant, successful and worthy. In short, self-esteem is a personal judgment of the worthiness that is expressed in the attitudes the individual holds towards himself.” (p. 4–5) To put it more simply, self-esteem is the attitude that people have toward their own values.
There are two possible ways that the use of social networking sites can affect a person’s self esteem. According to a study conducted by Amy L. Gonzales and Jeffrey T. Hancock, Facebook helps amplify students’ level of self-esteem. They explained in their study that when people post something on their profile, they have the opportunity to filter the negative information that they would not like to be exposed, and only publicize the information that they consider as positive. By doing this, people can build an ideal image of themselves online, which consequently increase the level of their self-esteem (Gonzales and Hancock, 2011). On the other hand, the study conducted by The University of Gothenburg in Sweden, which
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