Tuesday - Sep 17, 2019

How Facebook Affects your Self-Esteem?


facebook affects self esteem

Can you go on a day without checking the status of your Facebook account? Do you feel more connected to the people around you when you use Facebook?  Are Facebook and other social networking sites a part of your daily routine that you feel incomplete if you haven’t browse or check what your friends and networks are up to?

On average, Facebook have more than 1.1 billion users every month.  Without a doubt, it is considered as a global phenomenon because it offers direct, easy and constant communication among family and friends.   Thus, a number of researches were done focusing on the social networking sites and its possible implications and or influence on the person’s welfare. 

A recent study showed that lack of Facebook participation lead people to feel less meaningful.  The study entitled, “Threats to belonging on Facebook: lurking and ostracism”, which was recently published in the Social Influence Journal, was authored by Stephanie Tobin and her team from the University of Queensland’s School of Psychology. The study focuses on how communication in Facebook can affect the social belonging of a person which then affects his or her stance about life.

Though cyber-bullying is a serious matter that has more negative impact to the victims, the researcher pointed out that only few studies were conducted about the milder forms of rejection in social networking sites. Thus, the study was created to explore this area.

The study aims to know how Facebook can impact a person’s self-worth and feeling of loneliness.  The researchers conducted two studies which was centered on the passive or lurking participation in Facebook and on ostracism, which aims to determine how participants would react if they are deliberately snubbed on Facebook.

Passive Participation on Facebook

The first study analyzes how passive participation in Facebook can affects one’s outlook in life.  The researcher focuses on the group of Facebook users who regularly update their Facebook statuses. In the study, half of the group was posting regularly in their FB while the other was passively observing their friends updates and statuses.  The findings showed that those participants who did not post on FB for two days experienced a negative impact on their sense of personal well-being.

Deliberately Snubbed on Facebook

The second study focuses on a group with anonymous FB account which is set-up in a controlled space.  Participants were asked to post, update and comment on other Facebook user’s account.  Half of the participant, were set up not to receive any feedback.  

After the exercise, both participants were interviewed about their feelings of self-control, self-esteem, belonging and meaningful existence.  Participants of both studies, including the passive and the snubbed users felt invisible, less important and excluded as an individual. Users that were deliberately snubbed had experienced lower self-control and self-esteem.

The researchers have concluded that social participation on Facebook is a key in feeling a sense of meaning and belongingness for social media users.

Impact of Facebook

Facebook and other social networking sites have allowed people to extend their friendships into an offline to online environment. Status updates and relationships are shared among the users.  Recent photos and events are posted continually to update family and friends about things that they missed or things that they are up to. 

In Facebook, people can freely comment and share information to other people.  They can also enjoy the email features that allow them to send and receive private messages. Social networking sites have made it easier for people to satisfy the sense of belongingness and in extending their connections with their network.

But then, social networking sites like Facebook can also be an avenue to experienced social rejection that can threaten their feeling of belongingness.  Users may experience feeling left out or ignored by their friends when no one liked or post a comment about their FB statuses and or posted pictures.  People feel snubbed when they received lesser attention compared with others.

Though Facebook has been greatly associated with a lot of positive outcomes such as greater social connection, it is also important to consider minor issues that cause loneliness which affects the mental well-being of the people. The current literature in Facebook reveals that it contributes both to the positive as well as negative outcomes of its users.  The study proves that people can overcome negative feelings when they become more engage in socializing with their friends.

Researchers also noted that higher levels of communication like interactions between Facebook users can increase social support and lessens the feeling of loneliness in time.  They also noted that passive participation in social networking sites predicts lesser social capital.  There are even some studies showed that composed text receives greater attention and positive outcomes compared with simply clicking the like button, thus, decreasing the feeling of loneliness.

It is not surprising to find many studies about how Facebook affects its users.  With billion subscribers, it is the good choice to study how social networking sites affects the health and well-being of its users. The study clearly shows how the advancement of technology has greatly changed how people interact and communicate with each other.