Can Facebook Affect Self-Esteem


The popular social networking site Facebook has revolutionized the way we connect with those around us. Although this has made the world seem an even smaller place than it was before, it does have its own flip-side. A number of recent studies conducted in different parts of the world have highlighted the shocking truth about the disastrous effect that this social networking site can have on a person’s self-esteem.

What Studies Have Discovered

A study was recently conducted on 881 college going girls, which aimed to show just how they spent their time on Facebook. The average time spent by them on this site was said to be approximately 80 minutes per day, during which they would browse through their news feed, view photos and connect with their friends.

This study as well as several others conducted in varied parts of the world have highlighted that young people tend to compare themselves on every point with their friends on Facebook. This is most obvious in the case of young women, who compare their physical appearance and outfits with those of the people on their Facebook friend-list.

The International Communication Association annual conference in Seattle announced the results of its study and stressed upon the detrimental effects that Facebook can have on people, particularly those who are young and impressionable.

How Facebook and Self-Esteem Are Interlinked

Facebook users in general and women in particular tend to portray themselves as being perfect in their Facebook photos. These users who spend a great deal of time on this social networking site tend to compare their own selves with their friends. In many cases, such people find themselves unable to match up to the perfect pictures that their friends upload on Facebook.

The Results of Excessive Facebook Usage

The result of such comparisons is that these users develop a very unhealthy opinion about themselves, their body-type, weight, facial features, and the like. They might also get depressed on seeing their friends invited to parties that they weren’t invited to or getting jobs that they sought to get. This lowers their self-esteem drastically and causes them to become introverts who are constantly unhappy about the way they look.

Such individuals often try going on crash-diets or drastic makeovers to come closer to the so-called ideal standards on Facebook. Negative statuses are also a common way to garner attention in such cases. A Belmont-based clinical psychologist named Craig Malkin has also researched on the same topic and has found out that people who spend more time on Facebook become dissatisfied with themselves.

Instead of making people happy, these long-hours of scrutinizing only end up lowering people’s self-esteem by making them aware of just how their own life falls short in comparison with that of their Facebook friends. It has also been discovered that excessive Facebook usage affects women more than it affects men. Men tend to spend their time on Facebook irking each other, while women tended to compare themselves with other women, instead of actually using Facebook for communication.

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