Self-Esteem and Social Media
Social media and self-esteem have become opposing ideas in recent years, especially as more people get sucked into the hollow cycle of likes, comments, and shares. Like it or not, social media is deeply ingrained in modern society. Though it started as a way to connect with others, it continues to evolve into a world where people seek validation from strangers. While it has positive aspects, social media also negatively affects people’s self-esteem.
Social Media Scrolling and Your Self-Esteem
In a bid to fit in, most young people spend most of their free time scrolling through social media feeds. They may then slowly prioritize social media time over their daily responsibilities. From speaking to 10 of my peers, I discovered a shared sentiment among them, feelings of envy and inadequacy when they measure themselves against people on social media. Even the most secure people wonder about the seemingly perfect lives curated on social media feeds.
My self-esteem took a hit when I received negative comments on my social media posts. It didn’t matter to me that these strangers knew nothing about me. Before I lost all confidence to post pictures of myself online, I fell into an obsessive episode of constantly checking the number of likes and followers. I would spend a day in bed refreshing my social media profiles to ensure I never lost followers.
Abandoning any semblance of a normal life, I began to feel isolated and alone. No matter how much effort I put into editing my photos, I didn’t feel I could ever measure up to the perfect lives on people’s Instagram feeds. I became withdrawn and depressed, and my relationship with friends, family, and colleagues took a hit.
Social Media Isn’t the Self-Esteem Problem
When I began rebuilding my self-esteem, I was set on abandoning social media altogether as I believed it was the problem. However, after getting to a healthy place in my self-love journey, I realized that my relationship with social media was the problem. By taking the initiative and seeking professional help, I began working through my low self-esteem. With the assistance of a professional, I have gained awareness of the effects of social media on self-esteem and learned ways to maintain a healthy relationship with social media while cultivating a positive sense of self.
As I had deleted the previous ones, I set up new social media accounts and gained a new outlook on social media use. Rather than get sucked into the endless pit of scrolling, I am now more intentional with using social media. I take breaks when needed and engage in many other healthy activities that build my self-worth.
My experience is not unique. I know many people struggling with social media’s effects on their self-esteem. The pressure to present a perfect image is overwhelming and leads to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Take action today by seeking help to remedy your self-esteem and overcome feelings of inadequacy.
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Mbukha, T. (2023, May 9). Self-Esteem and Social Media, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, March 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2023/5/self-esteem-and-social-media