How Social Media Can Mess With Your Self-esteem

Is your self-esteem affected by social media?

Jazmine Cook, Journalist

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  What does self-esteem mean to you? According to Merriam-Websters dictionary self-esteem is the confidence and satisfaction in oneself or self respect.

  Today, social media is very popular. Everyone from elderly people down to elementary school students use it. It is a great way to stay connected with people and the world. Even though it may seem like social media is a great place, there are quite a few negative effects.

  We base our “popularity” on how many Facebook friends we have, or how many followers we have on Instagram, and the amount of trophies and our score on Snapchat.

  Valkenburg, Peter, and Schouten, researchers for adolescents well-being and social self-esteem, interviewed 881 Dutch children between the ages of 10 and 19 and measured their reactions to others social media pages, and their self-esteem. 49.3% reacted negatively to others social media profiles. 28.4% reacted positively to others social media.

Heather Edwards Sr., Robbi Corry Jr., Rachel Buckner Jr. and Beverly Ehart Jr. (From left to right)

  Beverly Ehart, a PVHS Junior,commented on social media and a person’s self-esteem.“Social media shows people an idea of beauty and tells them how to ‘fix’ themselves if they don’t fit into the idea of being beautiful.”

  Making young girls think that they need to compare themselves and live up to the standards of others, can cause them to develop eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. These disorders cause people to try to lose weight by making themselves sick after eating or by not eating at all.

  If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder there are many sites you can visit and you can call 800-931-2237.

  According to a survey called “Children, Teens, Media and Body Image,”  35% of teens worry about being tagged in unattractive pictures, 27% felt stressed about how they look in a picture that has been posted, and 22% felt bad about themselves if one of their pictures was ignored.     

  According to common Sense Media the board of directors for this survey are Harvey Anderson,  Lynne Benioff, Reveta Bowers, Julián Castro, and Ann Pao Chen.

  Social media gives people many feelings of a sense of relief and comfort, yet it also makes you feel as though you aren’t good enough. It makes you feel like you need to be something you aren’t.

  Although social media affects many, there are people out there who don’t care about what social media has to say. They know that even if they don’t look like a size zero model, they are beautiful.

  Irene Tucker, a PVHS Senior, said, “I don’t worry about how I look in posted pictures because that’s me. It’s not someone I pretend to be.”

  I think that it’s smart to not let something posted on social media define who you are, but that is easier said than done. Sometimes people just can’t help but compare themselves to others and they can’t see that they are beautiful the way they are.

  Not only does social media cause self-esteem issues, but it can also cause a lack of social skills. Everyone is on their phones and on their social media, not communicating the right way. They think that instant messaging is the right way to communicate when you should put your phones down and communicate with people face to face.

  I think that there are many bright sides to social media, but the negatives are far more severe than the positives. How can we fix this? We can stop making people feel the need to compare themselves and show them that they are beautiful the way they are. We should stop bringing down the self-esteem of others and start making them feel better about themselves.

  My question is why do we let social media set these standards? Why do we care what people think about how we look?  Everyone is beautiful in their own way. Even if you aren’t as thin as a twig or have the clearest face, you are perfect the way you are, so stop changing yourself to fit everyone else’s standards of a perfect person.

21 Comments

21 Responses to “How Social Media Can Mess With Your Self-esteem”

  1. Amanda on November 22nd, 2017 12:25 am

    I think that the article is well written and I like the amount of information available. However, you should include that boys also suffer not just girls and the fact that binge eating disorder is just as bad of a disorder as the other two. Many times people over look it because they think people starve themselves in order to be skinny but on the flip side they can also overeat feeling they will never be good enough or they use food as a vice for they way they see themselves.

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    Jazmine Cook Reply:

    Thank you for the feed back! I greatly appreciate it.

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  2. Joselyn on November 22nd, 2017 8:59 am

    “I think that it’s smart to not let something posted on social media define who you are, but that is easier said than done. Sometimes people just can’t help but compare themselves to others and they can’t see that they are beautiful the way they are” Even if you try to be positive in the way you think about yourself there is always those time where one has to compare themselves to another person. we curse ourselves that we don’t look beautiful or handsome enough and we lower our self- esteem .

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  3. Samantha on November 22nd, 2017 9:02 am

    This is a well written article and it has some facts to back up what is being debated. However, when it was stated that the media can cause “them to develop eating disorders” this is not the only thing that social media can cause. While eating disorders are serious and social media can pressure someone into thinking they are not skinny enough; social media and other things can cause other serious mental health issues. Depression is one of them; people can be torn down by others on social media just as much as in person and the comments made or other things like that can cause the person affected to become depressed. As stated before social media also “makes you feel as though you aren’t good enough.” That could be a sign of depression, feeling as if you are not good enough.

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  4. Emily Madmon on November 22nd, 2017 9:25 am

    I enjoyed the flow of the article and the statistics. On the survey about Dutch children how does that relate to teenagers in America. I think children in America utilize social media differently from Dutch children,

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  5. sierra bala on November 22nd, 2017 9:32 am

    I like how you introduced the article with “What does self-esteem mean to you?” and I also like your utilization of statistics. Although I found it a bit disorganized , it was overall a good article.

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  6. Mindy Broderick on November 22nd, 2017 9:33 am

    It is very true that we too often compare ourselves with others; it makes you feel “as though you aren’t good enough.” Most of the things posted on social media are an expression of our best selves and it may not include what really goes on. One might see a super model with a perfect smile and perfect hair on the front of a magizine; however, we do not see what they look like just after they wake up.

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  7. Kyle Kerns on November 22nd, 2017 9:55 am

    In a time when people are more connected than ever, the impact of social media on one’s self esteem is definitely a factor that should be considered by the youth of today. It’s certainly an unrealistic expectation for people to, “live up to the standards set by others” especially when the standard are set by prominent figures in the media and public eye. The article was well written and it sheds much needed light on a subject that should be analyzed further by influential figures as a means of spreading the message of body-positivity and self-worth represented in this article.

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  8. Diamond Wallace on November 22nd, 2017 9:57 am

    The article actually introduces a great viewpoint of how self-esteem can be greatly affected from just social media. As they saying goes there are two sides to every story about the effects that teenagers go through from social media. The author, Jasmine Cook, utilizes, “Not only does social media cause self-esteem issues, but it can cause a lack of social skills”. Cook makes a reasonable statement to include social skills to pry into the effect social media. The overall statement is that yes, most teenagers do look to social media for a veil of comfort when they don’t be social face to face. Though of course when most teenagers are tagged in photos or even commented in ways that they don’t enjoy for everyone else to see, it causes the teenager to become wary of how others many feel about them. Causing the teenager to turn towards being anti-social of how they’ll appear to others. The article is well written and provides both viewpoints of the effects of social media and how it can effect those around,

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  9. Robin Benbo on November 22nd, 2017 11:30 am

    Jazmine, you did wonderfully. There’s so much useful information here, you writing is great!
    =)

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  10. Jazmine Cook on November 22nd, 2017 7:20 pm

    I just wanted to say thank you for all of the feedback and the comments. I appreciate it so much.

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  11. meagan on November 26th, 2017 2:40 pm

    Great article, self esteem is different for everyone.

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  12. Luis Garcia on November 28th, 2017 10:03 am

    Very well written, hope this gets out there for those who need help.

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  13. Luis Garcia on November 28th, 2017 10:04 am

    Very well written, hope gets out there for those who need help in understanding.

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  14. Jade VanDerBeek on November 29th, 2017 9:56 am

    Social media can definitely effect how you view yourself. Studies on Facebook claim that the colors, layout, design, and many more elements can make you feel lowly and depressed. I liked how you concluded this article, At the end of the day everyone has different genes, lives, hardships, etc. They shape us into who we are. At the end of the day, we are all beautiful in our own unique ways. Article is well written, great job.

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  15. Lilly C on January 19th, 2018 2:09 pm

    I’ve personally struggled with this myself. It makes sense. Great article.

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  16. Alexandria Calderon on February 9th, 2018 9:38 am

    I agree social media does affect one’s self-esteem. I agree to social media making “young girls think that they need to compare themselves,” because it has had a great impact on the lives of teens.

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  17. Leanne Langston on February 9th, 2018 11:48 am

    I personally believe that this article is exaggerating the harm of social media. When Erheart states that social media is “making young girls think that they need to compare themselves and live up to the standards of others,” it shows that people whose self-esteem is being harmed by social media should not be on these websites. If you are so concerned about not being popular or pretty enough on social media, you do not need to be on it.

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  18. Skyler Lauver on February 14th, 2018 9:17 am

    Although this article is very accurate, it seems overdone. In our society, people try to blow things out of proportion and overreact to slight comments rather than overcoming adversity and being confident in themselves. I understand that, at times, things can get out of hand and at that point the situation should be handled maturely and appropriately but in life we are not going to be able to Sprigeo someone for stating their opinion. There are times when you need to take care of things professionally and other times when we should handle things on our own.

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  19. brandon baumgarten on February 26th, 2018 7:06 pm

    Social media has a very large impact on kids these days. It is all care about, and it has changed their lives so much. When we had no technology, kids didn’t sit on their phones. They rode bikes, played with neighbors, and did things.

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  20. Heather Edwards on March 16th, 2018 10:15 am

    Jazmine, this article is so relevant and important to today’s modern society. I agree social media is tearing us down instead of building us up –even if we are connected to people around the world. I know somebody that has anorexia because of the standards that have been set for us. It is ridiculous. I wish people would understand that they are beautiful no matter what they are. Social media is such a bad tool for people our age. I think we (the student body) should go around and tell people how good looking they are just for the heck of it. Everyone deserves to be complimented.

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