Many researchers have found mixed results about whether social media use has an effect on self-concept, self-esteem, body image, and body dissatisfaction, which suggests that individual mindsets can have an impact on the outcome of social media use. While comparing oneself to others over social media can have a detrimental effect on one’s self esteem, the Ideal to Real TODAY/AOL Body Image survey revealed that 65% of girls and assigned female at birth reported that seeing their selfies on social networking sites boosts their self-esteem.
How Do Selfies Affect Self Esteem?
More than half of teens worry about whether other people will judge their appearance. This can contribute to fear around posting on social media. Only 40% of people claim that social media helps them present their best face to the world. Others agree that they present their ideal selves online, rather than their authentic thoughts, unfiltered opinions, and unedited or unstaged photographs. Ruminating about one’s social media presence can lead to increased anxiety and fear of being judged.
You have to ask yourself why you are taking the selfie — for the sake of making yourself feel better, to ‘compete’ with your friends or followers, or just to have fun and express your feelings of happiness at that particular time. Are you doing this for yourself, or because you feel insecure and are looking for the approval of your peers to make you feel a little better? If it’s the latter, you might be better off putting the phone down and identifying how you’re feeling, if it’s an insecurity, and how you can go about feeling better in more rewarding, long-lasting ways.
How To Maintain Your Self-Esteem Online
- Take more pictures of yourself. Many teens worry that they might come across as self-absorbed for taking selfies, especially in public. They may be more likely to self-analyze and end up deleting the dozens of pictures they take trying to get their best angle. While 66% of people don’t like having their picture taken by other people, selfies can be an empowering display of self-love and a big self-esteem booster. Especially on days when they are struggling with low self-esteem, looking back at old pictures can bring up positive memories.
- Remember that Photoshop exists and that it is used more often than one would expect. Eighty percent of teen girls and assigned female at birth compare themselves to glamorous celebrity images. Among those, nearly half are left feeling dissatisfied with their appearance. It makes sense that 56 percent of teen girls and assigned female at birth wish photo-shopping of models and celebrities would stop. Comparing yourself to unrealistic standards sets yourself up for disappointment.
- Post what you want, not what you think other people will like. “Felt cute might delete later” became a viral caption earlier this year where people posted embarrassing selfies. However, this mindset easily becomes destructive, as people will delete pictures that didn’t get enough likes to validate that they did, in fact, look cute. About 80% of people under the age of 24 worry about their appearance regularly. It doesn’t help when you are not only insecure about how you look, but also overly concerned about how other people will judge you.
- Don’t feel pressured to live your life online. Your breakfast may fit your feed’s “aesthetic,” but your followers don’t need to know that. Your mom might appreciate a picture showing off your culinary skills, but other people may not care. If you are overanalyzing whether or not to post something and proofreading everything you type, it may bring up more anxiety than it’s worth. Deleting a picture you’ve posted can bring up shame and self-doubt. Not posting it at all doesn’t usually result in a “Fear of Missing Out” on likes. It is okay that your camera roll has more pictures than your Instagram account. Unplugging from social media for periods of time can significantly reduce stress and challenge beliefs about your low self-worth. Young adults who put more energy into living life offline develop more meaningful relationships and confidence–both of which are not contingent on online validation.
Journey Home Can Help
Journey Home is a transitional living program for girls and assigned female at birth ages 16-21 that have graduated from a residential treatment center or wilderness therapy. We are the perfect fit for teens who are ready to build upon skills learned in therapeutic settings but recognize they still need guidance and support to further develop their success. Journey Home blends a traditional home setting with positive peer and staff relationships. We believe in the value of good health and healthy hobbies in promoting future success.
For more information, call 801-444-0794 . We can help your family today!