Social Media Effects on Individual’s Self-Esteem

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Social Media Effects on Individual's Self Esteem


The study explores the implications of social media use on children's self-esteem, which is considered to be among the most researchers issues affecting the users of the web-based platforms. Self-esteem denotes one's sense of pride, as well as positive assessment or self-respect. Previous studies conducted on the field show that self-esteem is enhanced through childhood but the level decreases as an individual attains the adolescent stage (Balakrishnan & Fernandez, 2018). Over the recent past, the use of the Internet, especially social media has tremendously increased. It is also evident that girls who frequently use social media have a reduced self-esteem compared to boys. With the advent of the Internet and the new forms of communication, the use of social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter are gradually becoming prevalent, especially among children (Balakrishnan & Fernandez, 2018). Approximately 90% of children have Facebook accounts, and they spend approximately 30 minutes to two hours on social media platforms on a daily basis (Balakrishnan & Fernandez, 2018). Social media can have both negative and positive effects on self-esteem depending on how one utilizes the networking platforms.

Purpose of the Study

The study explores the correlation between social media usage and self-esteem among children. Accordingly, research indicates that there is a link between the time spent on the social networking platforms and a reduction of face-to-face communication with family members and friends that results into a feeling of loneliness as well as depression.

Study Justification

The use of social media sites has gained immense popularity over the last decade and has resulted in long-lasting effects on users. The upward comparison that has been made using social media sites has caused individuals to have lower self-esteem. The significant findings from previous studies indicate that about 80% of children using social media sites engage in making comparisons social media platforms, especially Facebook.  Therefore, the study is intended to prove that usage of social media sites has a strong relationship on reduced individual's self-esteem.  Most children are using social media platforms to build relationships, interact with peers, share and gain knowledge and information and develop stronger personalities and have improved social lives. As such, one of the primary objectives of the current study is to highlight the effects of social networking sites use on the self-esteem of children. Notably, the research will divert the attention of individuals and assists them to analyze theirs over engagement on social media platforms and the possible consequences of lowering their self-esteem.

Preview of the Research Paper

This research anticipates that time spent online by children will lower affect their self-esteem. More so, the time that children spent on the social media sites viewing others profiles increases the risk for self-appreciation and lowers their self-esteem. Therefore, the study hypothesizes that the more frequent use of online sites lowers children's self-esteem. Also, more time spent on the Internet leads to a reduced body image satisfaction.

Literature Review

Any means of communication through the Internet plays a vital role in people's lives. Social media has a significant influence on a child's growth and development both in negative and positive ways. Sometimes, the use of social media creates an adverse impact on children is they use the social networking sites unnecessarily or when they spend too much time on the sites (Wang et al., 2017). Some of the common concerns of social media use are that it exposes children to violence, aggression, as well as offensive language. However, there are times when children can use social media sites to help them keep in contact with their loved ones (Smith, 2014).  However, when children use social media sites with unreasonable limits can cause problems such as behavioral change and physical disability, such as hearing and visual problems.

Overuse of social media sites may make children fearful of the environment around them that can result in aggression towards their peers. Everything a child observes in the social media sites can affect them in several ways (Toma, 2013).  The constant use of social media sites are bound to affect many children's self-esteem and could contribute to poor quality of sleep (Smith, 2014). When children compare themselves to their peers on social media by looking at the images or updating their relationship status online, they could do very little to ease their feelings of self-doubt. Many children suffer from envy. As such, it is necessary to be more conscious of the amount of time sent on looking at other people's profiles and focus more on boosting self-confidence.

Social media has already started causing major societal issues. The younger generation has begun to spend more time using social media sites and has affected their view of society and themselves. Children are becoming increasingly comfortable with sharing themselves on the online platforms, and this lack of privacy has become a critical issue that needs to be taken into consideration. The easy access that children have on the Internet and social media is a matter of concern. They have become more alert with their body images at a very tender age that can be detrimental to them as they grow up (Wang et al., 2017). Most children follow only the positive accounts and fail to realize that society is not perfect. Children are also being affected by being hyper-sexualized which a very dangerous effect at a time when their lives are already dealing with hormones and peer pressure. It is believed that the problem is going to get worse throughout the years with more the emergence of more technology.

Several studies demonstrate that social media use is linked to physical problems, such as loss of sleep and eating disorders. Increasing number of children have sleep deprivations compared to the previous generation (Cingel & Olsen, 2018). Today, most children go through unusual sleep patterns that can disturb their daily routines. Most children end up with a higher risk of sleep problems.

Social Media Affect Education And Learning

Education is fundamental to prepare children to become responsible adults. All professionals received an education while in their youth to enhance their knowledge and skills and understand the world better. A lot has changed after the emergence of technology.  Students now know how to keep their Facebook profiles spotless. As a result, there is increased fear and anxiety that is increasingly driving the vigilance on social media use by children (Cingel & Olsen, 2018). The usage of social media has resulted in a new phenomenon especially among young people and the change towards the self as a brand. However, most students understand how to protect their online reputation when it involves their accounts. Most learners are creating different accounts to protect their reputation, while at the same time enjoying full freedom of being able to lose and show their identity without worrying about the repercussions.  It is easy to understand the negative aspects of social media since it is what is always highlighted by adults and the media (Pounders, Kowalczyk, & Stowers, 2016). However, social media sites can also help students to learn more about the technology advancements and use it to do more research. More so, educators are starting to realize this and are taking advantage of the benefits of social media in nurturing the children to become responsible adults in the future.  How Social Media Affect How Children and Adolescents Learn

Children can achieve developmental benefits by using social media platforms. For instance, younger children can learn literacy skills and start learning letters of the alphabet or through educational computer games. Next, younger children can learn numeracy skills by starting to learn how to count and identify shapes (Li et al., 2018). Children can also learn social skills through social media through the use of computer games and various apps that show helping behavior. For teenagers, using social media sites entails intellectual benefits such as developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills and using apps that are designed to develop such skills (Pounders, Kowalczyk, & Stowers, 2016). Also, older children can develop ethical thinking skills by making a comparison to the family values. Educational benefits include conducting research and other social benefits such as online clubs through the use of social media safely (Pounders, Kowalczyk, & Stowers, 2016). The use of social media includes opportunities to learn basic skills, as well as support options, through the use of peer-based or professional online counseling.  Theories of Personality

The social learning theory coined by Bandura suggests that children learn everything in early life and from adults around them. As a result, children usually model their behaviors based on what they observe from home or from individuals who are close to them. Most often, children use words or phrases that may appear to be cited on them but may often create a wrong impression on their peers or other people around them. However, adults should encourage children to repeat what is right and support them to behave responsibly (Lee et al., 2014). On the other hand, the theory Skinner is used to explaining the notion of reinforcement that can be used in certain circumstances when it is ideal for grooming a positive aspect. However, reinforcement should be excluded when it goes in the wrong direction. The notion of positive reinforcement can be applied beneficially.


The current study examined a group of 40 children who were asked to take part in the survey and receive credit towards their participation as a reward. The materials used in the study included a body self-esteem scale which is a systematic analysis of an individual's values and attitudes towards their appearance or body image. In the study, two versions were used to an emphasis on the specific characteristics of boys and girls. The version for boys had three subscales that were used to measure the physical attractiveness, as well as the physical condition (Lee et al., 2014). The version for girls also had three scales, which are the measured the sexual attractiveness, weight concerns, as well as physical condition. The surveys had thirty questions, and the participants were required to rate their appearance. The responses were analyzed using a scale of one to five. The higher scores were used to indicate higher body esteem.


The research examined the correlation between social media use and self-esteem among children. In the study, the survey was anonymous and the questions were mailed and posted online for one week. Further, the students who took part in the study earned credit for their participation as a reward. In the study, it was hypothesized frequent use of social media would negatively affect or lower self-esteem levels among the participants. Besides, it was hypothesized that increased exposure to social networking sites would lower body image. Finally, it was noted that self-esteem influences social media interaction, as well as the mental well-being of the participants. The findings of the study were analyzed and the mean scores computed between boys and girls who took part in the study.  The results from the self-esteem scales were also computed. Correlational analysis calculated between the duration spent online per day throughout the week before taking the survey and individual self-esteem levels were considered not significant.


The study examined how the use of social media platforms affects the self-esteem of children. Specifically, the study sought to discover the correlation between the frequency of using online platforms and negative self-esteem on children. The current study hypothesized that more frequent use of social media sites would negatively affect self-esteem levels. The results revealed that Facebook and other social media platforms have a direct effect by lowering self-esteem due to over-exposure. 

Public Relations practitioners will be specifically targeting a unique customer base by understanding the effects of social media use, especially among children. They will be able to interact more with their target audience and focus on creating unique and engaging content. In addition, the PR practitioners will mainly focus on stories that will definitely create a bond with the audience. Since social media comprises several elements, PR practitioners will broaden the scope of their services to provide a complete package for their target customers.

For future research, it might be necessary to focus on the implications of social media of social media on psychological functioning and mental development on children, by focusing on aspects such as depression and anxiety. Further, it might also be fundamental to explore how the use of social media affects clinical groups with the objective of gaining a deeper insight into the psychological functioning of such individuals.

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Social Media Effects on Individual's Self-Esteem. (2019, Aug 02). Retrieved June 19, 2024 , from

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