Access to social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and beyond has made people of every age get hooked to social media. During this era, communication through social platforms is more common than meeting in person, which is a rarity nowadays. It does come with its advantages, but it has also led to the paradox of loneliness, anxiety, depression, hatred and narcissism that is in a way linked directly with social media’s excessive usage.
That being said, there are both sides to social media. It can have its effects on us in the following ways.
Positive impacts of Social Media on Self-Esteem
There are definite positive impacts of social media. Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram can not only make us stay in contact with the surrounding issues and state of the world but also link us with our family and friends who live far away from us.
Other business platforms like LinkedIn can introduce us to the professional world, providing us with jobs and new experiences. In a nutshell, social world an serve as a creative outlet to market businesses, along with spreading important messages, stay up-to-date with modern technology and news, or simply express your viewpoints on a public platform.
Negative impacts of Social Media on Self-Esteem
Being a useful place for many, it can also provide a lot of damage and distraction to some people in the following ways.
Social media works best to boost our confidence and self-esteem temporarily. After posting a picture on any platform, we crave for the assurance it provides. If the comments are negative, it makes us anxious and doubt our own existence and skills. If the comments are positive, we feel instant gratification, satisfaction and joy. It makes us dependent as likes, comments, and feedbacks are signs of validation. In this paradox, we forget that our own opinion is way more valuable and worthy than anyone else’s.
Despite having a life full of sorrows and difficulties, people opt to post those moments of life filled with joy, happiness, pleasure, social events and success only. It pressurises us to maintain unrealistic standards created by those people. However, we often forget that those pictures are edited to the extent that they look perfect to us. It can be frustrating, thus lowering our self-esteem to the lowest standards.
Comparison and competition
When social media is constantly feeding us with pictures of perfect people with perfect lives, it lowers our self-esteem. It creates an unhealthy amount of comparison and competition. A person who is already struggling with low self-esteem and self-doubt will feel like he is living a below-average life after seeing others living their best lives.
Despite being a harmful platform, social media itself is not the root of depression and anxiety. Issues arise in our head when we get carried away and lose grasp of reality, making social media a reality.
Zoom and Self-Esteem
Zoom added a great deal of worries to this. It’s exhausting to feel like we have to put more efforts to be mentally present in a meeting where we physically aren’t. Meetings held online increase cognitive load as it asks for a lot of conscious capacity and effort.
Following are some factors created by zoom, which can affect our self-esteem.
- Face to face meetings are crucial mechanisms for communication and maintaining a healthy environment. It’s a great way to introduce our feelings, emotions, attitude, gestures and postures non-verbally. But on zoom meetings, we need to make more efforts to stay active.
- Having heads staring at us for a long time is off-putting for us. We focus more on fixing our hair, makeup and clothing rather than the meeting.
- In real life meetings, silence is an excellent tool as it creates a natural rhythm and calmness. In Zoom meeting, it makes us anxious and angry. We zone out and feel like the other person is less friendly and focused.
- Having a poor connection can cause frustration; turning microphones on and off, lagging connections, unhealthy environment, and background noises make us lose our focus.
Relationship between social media and feelings in real life
An experimental study held in the University of Pennsylvania showed the connection between socialmedia use and feelings of depression and loneliness.
It proves that less usage of social platforms can tremendously increase one’s self-worth and wellbeing.
People are spending more time on social media, and less with family and friends can make them alone.
After spending the whole day on social media, we can’t help but feel an ache in our heart that can be described as loneliness.
Technology plays a vital role in shaping the experience of being lonely in an undeniable way. Interacting with socialcircle all the time decreases our tolerance level for solitude along with raising our expectations about the frequency and quantity of our online connections.
Technology alone can’t shoulder all the blame for our loneliness. We can’t figure out whether we’re lonely because we spend most of the time online or we’re spending so much time online because we’re more lonely.
The mental state of people suffering from self-image
Many studies and psychologists agree that people with positive self-esteem have a healthy personality; they are more confident and more efficient. People with low self-esteem run away from critical life choices they need to make. They are afraid to try new experiences and choose to live in their void.
Their actions create a vicious cycle that makes it harder for them to step outside of their comfort zone. They consider themselves a failure, and they contribute to their undoing. Their self-created psychological problems reinforce them until they are rooted deep within their brains. People with low self-esteem focus on their weaknesses and everything wrong with their personalities and lives. They create a negative light in their head, which guides them to low self-esteem. They never let go of their past traumatic experiences which affect their self-worth.
Nowadays, most of the time is spent at home. Environment affects every aspect of our life, including self-esteem. Low self-esteem is the result of the negative, stressful and damaging state. The more negative the environment is, the more stressed a person will feel which will
Ultimately reduce his self-esteem. Positive self-esteem is caused by a productive and encouraging environment that can help you grow out of the box.
The mixed bag of emotions reflects the mental state of a person. The more isolated he is, the more severe the psychological impacts. People who are less in contact with their friends and family are more prone to low self-esteem than those who are in contact with their family and friends.
Steps to improve body image:
Listed below are some activities, which, when implemented, can improve self-image.
- While talking to yourself, use uplifting and encouraging figures. It helps to trick your mind into thinking that you are worth it. The more affirmative you are about yourself, the more positive you’ll feel about yourself.
- Wake up with an optimistic thought of making your day worth living. It will develop a positive self-image.
- Try to accept that nobody is perfect and everyone is dealing with one’s imperfections. Always try to be the best version of yourself and make yourself your competition.
- Do what makes you happy. You’re likely to think positive and happy if you spend more time doing and practising what you preach.
- It’s easy to overthink about the things that are out of your control, but it won’t do any good to you. Build your confidence and try to feel better about yourself by celebrating small achievements.
- If you are surrounded by people who play their absolute part to lower your self-esteem, you’ll feel negativity all the time. Surround yourself with people who are good for your health and self-esteem.