Self Esteem & Social Media


Photo by Sami Callaghan

Twitter is often used during study hall in the KHS library.

By: Sami Callaghan

     I know as a teenager, we are under a lot of pressure to maintain good grade, keep up with homework, a social life, and with our social lives comes social media. What I share on social media is all positive, and what I see others post on social media is also positive. Usually glorifying the fun, and exciting moments of our lives. What could be a problem with that? The problem is that it is not realistic, but that’s something human nature ignores.

     Our social media profiles often come off as a highlight reel, where we post our life accomplishments, and the best photos of us. Studies have shown that teens who interact on social media for more then two hours a day are victims of some type of psychological distress.

     In a survey done by United Kingdom’s Royal Society for public health, they got feedback from around 1,500 people ages 14-29 on what social media sites triggered the most low self esteem, the U.S. is not much different. Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram were ranked which one gives off the most negativity. The results came out in that order with Youtube being the most positive, and instagram being the most negative.

     I agree with the results of this survey. Instagram is the most negative platform of social media because it’s again where we post pictures from our fun experience, biggest accomplishments, and often we include the pictures that we look best in. An argument could be made that Instagram, and social media, is not all that bad because it keeps us connected and allows people we do not see often to keep up with our lives. The bad outweighs the good.

    In the study done by United Kingdom’s Royal Society for public health the participants listed bullying, anxiety, bad body image, depression, and lack of sleep as negatives that come from Instagram. Aside from the obvious that being bullied, and having bad body image (from comparing yourself to other people in pictures; most often seen with girls) can lead to depression/anxiety, so can lack of sleep. The National Sleep Organization says “..disturbed sleep can lead to emotional changes, clinical depression, or anxiety. Even small amounts of sleep deprivation can alter your happiness.” So when teenagers stay up on social medias such as Instagram because they are too busy during the day to keep up with them, it can lead to mental instabilities that lower their self esteem.

    Although some social medias didn’t come out to be so negative, (like youtube) they come with a grain of salt and I think society should be mindful of how its used.

The way we use social media can have a direct effect on our self esteem, how we see ourselves, and our mental state. Being mindful of when, and how our minds process what we see on the internet is most important, which can also be a solution to the problem.