The Impact of Social Media Upon Self Esteem

2506 Words Jun 24th, 2018 11 Pages
At some point in our lives, each of us has let others’ opinions about us influence our perception of ourselves. Whether you’re feeling sad because of a spat with a friend, or elated because of a compliment from your boss on a job well done, you are allowing others’ opinions of you to influence how you feel about yourself.
For many people, young adulthood is when they are most vulnerable to this type of mental process. Caught in the purgatory between childhood and adulthood, young adults often find themselves unsure about almost everything: careers, relationships, and, most importantly, themselves. After living almost two decades as a child in the eyes of society, young adulthood is a time to figure out who you are and who you want to be.
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Being constantly watched can have significantly detrimental effects on a person’s mental state, as demonstrated in the documentary We Live In Public. This disturbing documentary follows infamous Internet pioneer and self-made billionaire Josh Harris as he conducts an “experiment” that involved the constant surveillance of 100 people in a futuristic bunker beneath the streets of New York City. As the experiment’s subjects live their days beneath the glare of hundreds of cameras, their mental states noticeably deteriorate, leaving them fragile, emotional, and sometimes violent (We Live In Public, 2009). Although this is an extreme example, the Internet has become a virtual version of this underground bunker, except we did not agree to participate in any experiment; if we are online, we are always being watched.
Additionally, the Internet is gradually evolving into a platform on which each person will be permanently bound to his or her communications and can be subject to offline consequences for their online choices.
Because of compulsory identity verification that is enforced by “real names policies,” users of sites such as Google Plus, YouTube, and Facebook are required to link all of their virtual interactions conducted over these sites to their personal identities (Boyd, 2011). Not only do these policies violate users’ privacy, but by requiring users to label all online
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