The surge in the use of internet based social platforms to keep in touch with friends, engage with brands and share your life with your society has resulted in psychologists, sociologists, educators and parents around the world raising questions of whether or not this is healthy. There are a number of studies that are being conducted as of this moment to understand and elaborate the psychological influence of social networking websites on a person’s self-esteem.
Social Networking in Daily Life
One cannot deny the extent to which these platforms have become an integral part of the daily lives of people around the world. Having said that, it is crucial for us to understand how it is truly influencing the way we communicate with people, how we behave and even if it is influencing our productivity.
Social Interfaces and how they influence our Self-Esteem
Most social networking interfaces have come under the scanner time and again to encourage, jealousy, greed and materialism. For example, many of us have that one friend on the list who is travelling more than we are, partying on the weekends a lot more than we are and leading that perfect life that we have always wanted.
Psychologists tend to criticize this aspect of social networking which compels users to spend hours in the middle of a work day stalking people they don’t really know too well in the physical world only to go green with jealousy over the latest vacation pictures that they just posted.
Social and Psychological experts believe that not every human being has the capacity to stay content with who they are, the number of friends they have and the life they lead. Gaining access to information on other lives that may look more enriching than one’s own on social platforms just works against an individual’s self-esteem.
Is it really Encouraging Low Self-Esteem?
Most of these studies are done with a bias that these platforms cannot be a positive influence on a person’s outlook towards life. While there are a number of drawbacks to these networking tools, one may be surprised to realize that social media has also played a significant role in encouraging self-respect as well as well the building of healthy relationships.
A very optimistic research breaks all traditional views of the negative impact of these websites on individuals by stating that these portals give us a new perspective towards ‘oneself’ and gives us an opportunity to choose what aspect of our personality we wish to project to our network. Additionally, the ability to view one’s own profile from an outsider’s point of view gives us as individuals more opportunities of self-analysis and motivates us to work on our negative aspects purely out of motivation to alter the information that we share on these social interfaces.
Having said that, it is important to draw a balance between what we really are and what we aspire to be. If we as individuals are able to maintain a healthy balance between these two, there is no major reason behind social networking interfaces working against our own self-esteem.