The urge to maintain an online presence can be exhausting. Sure, social media isn’t always negative, but there are important things to keep in mind about using
social media that can prevent it from being a bad experience. For example, monitoring self-esteem and the impact social media has on it. It’s important to be self-aware about the way social media makes us feel, especially for adolescents and young adults. If your adolescent uses a particular social media site and you comes away feeling worse about themselves because of it, it might be time to reconsider the use of that platform. If I log onto Facebook and become frustrated and unhappy about my life because of the way it compares to others, it’s important that I consider changing the way I use the site. This might mean changing how long I use Facebook, or who I am interacting with, maybe even considering if it’s worthwhile to use the site at all.
Social media can have a lasting impact on our self-esteem. Bustle.com posted an article explaining the ways that social media affects our self-esteem. This list might be helpful to keep in mind if you feel your adolescent/young adult’s self-esteem is dropping because of their social media use. The list includes items like:
1) Social media can lead us to disengage from our real experiences. When we’re too busy worried about getting the perfect pic of the view, we can end up missing the view itself.
2) Social media can bring about false connections with others. Because online interactions are not grounded in real-life, this can mean they lack the power that face-to-face exchanges have. This lacking can affect the way we view ourselves. Bustle points out that this doesn’t mean we can’t make valuable connections online, it just means we’re at risk of building false connections when there’s no face-to-face contact.
3) Social media can bring on a battle for likes. It’s very hard to not compare the amount of likes across people and content. It’s also hard not to makes those likes into a reflection of self-worth. The more likes, the better we feel. But what kind of affect does it have on you when you don’t get the number of likes you wanted?
All of these points are important to keep in mind while using social media. Is the reward worth the cost? Social media is a complicated thing. It’s important to be mindful of the way it makes us feel, and to make changes to be sure social media isn’t taking a hit on self-esteem.
What advice to you give to your adolescent/young adult to prevent social media from hurting their self-esteem?