For this assignment, I chose the topic of social media feedback and self-esteem. The article is titled, “How many likes did I get? Purpose moderates links between positive social media feedback and self-esteem” from the journal of experimental social psychology (Burrow & Rainone, 2017). I chose this topic because heavy social media users are struggling with self-esteem with the rising use of social media. Out of experience, I have struggled with low self-esteem after my expectations on social media turned out to be exactly the opposite. Besides, a rising number of people suffer from mental health, which starts with low self-esteem out of social media use. Therefore, I found it interesting to learn more about how social media links with self-esteem, especially social media feedback such as likes and comments and low self-esteem. Additionally, I have a friend who seems to be affected by social media. She spends too much time comparing herself with others, which caught my attention in learning more about the link between the two deliverables so that I can help her out of the situation.
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The researchers were investigating how social media feedback, such as likes, affects the self-esteem of users. To test this, they included the purpose of life as a prosocial motivation. They predicted that people with a greater purpose in life lessen their sensitivity to social media feedback. They investigated the phenomena because the article asserts that the social media effect has been linked to low self-esteem; hence, there is a need to address the issue. They carried out the research through an experiment involving two studies of a total of 342 respondents. In the first experiment, participants were asked to self-report the number of likes they got, realizing a biased limitation. Thus, the second study covered the limitation through experimental manipulation.
The general findings were that social media feedback, in terms of the number of likes on Facebook profiles, has a positive relationship with self-esteem. It means that individuals’ self-esteem is affected when they get more or fewer likes than they anticipated. However, the second experiment found that those with a strong purpose diminish the link between social media and self-esteem. Therefore, for those with a strong purpose, their likelihood of being affected by the number of likes they get is minimal. What I found interesting the most in the article is that an individual’s purpose in life, to a greater extent, manages acquired behavior.
As the study revealed, I learned that strong personal goals and motivations filter how we feel about ourselves. I learned about it because previously, I thought that the social media effect is so intense that the only way to overcome it is by refraining from it. However, I have learned that it is possible to maintain one’s self-esteem with firm principles, a greater purpose, and defined goals. The research applies to my life in that I am one of the affected people. As I previously explained, I am a heavy user of social media, especially Instagram, and my self-esteem has v been affected. This research is critical because it will help me redefine my purpose and overcome the negative impact of Instagram on my self-esteem.
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By understanding that a greater purpose with firm goals diminishes social media feedback’s effect on self-esteem, I can redefine my purpose again to overcome the challenge. One question I was left wondering after reading the article is how those already affected can raise their self-esteem again. Given that the researchers have already established that a strong purpose is a mechanism against social media feedback impact, what can be done to those with no purpose? Another question is how the study can help social media users define a strong purpose that will help them overcome the impact. Such questions form a basis for further research.