Social media platforms are extremely popular in the world of today and undoubtedly play an important role in bringing the world closer. Videos related to travel and cuisine are extremely popular, garnering millions of views. Social media users create content and post it on various social media platforms for many reasons. One of the main reasons is to create a personal brand image for a product or service and to promote their businesses or any event. Sometimes, people communicate or express their views on different social issues through their posts, or at times, they try to be heard in the form of personal blogs. Social media is also extremely advantageous as it is a free platform for mass communication. It caters to the urge to reach out to the world. It has enabled common people to communicate with the world without boundaries. All the above-mentioned reasons are absolutely fine as they lead to commercial benefits, and these are professionally dealt with and meticulously planned.
However, there are people who use these platforms to showcase their personal lives to the world. Such people tend to rely on external factors to achieve a sense of self-worth rather than focusing inward. Psychologists often say that the urge to share online, or even oversharing, has an impact on a person’s confidence and self-esteem. People may feel a sense of heightened self-esteem with the number of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ they receive on their selfies posted online. These numbers also show the number of people who probably ‘like’ them based on how they look in those posts and not for what they really are. Whereas people with a sense of purpose and direction in life have immunity against the number of online ‘likes’ and ‘comments’.
Self-esteem can be defined as ‘the emotional appraisal of one’s own worth’. Psychologists have also pointed out that people who share their lives online often look for recognition, admiration, or acknowledgement. This can also be an indication of insecurity. People feel an increase in self-esteem by presenting a positive self-image to others through social networking sites. Psychologists also warn by saying that this tendency to share everything online can give people a temporary rise in self-esteem but a decline in self-control.
Such indulgences can also lead to addiction. Many studies have linked overexposure to social media with depression and anxiety issues. Teenagers are most affected and are often sleep deprived due to prolonged usage of social media. At times, users are not completely aware of the safety protocols and can become vulnerable to cyberbullying, etc. People need to realise that one’s self-worth does not rely upon the number of ‘views’ or ‘likes’ received online. It can rather be achieved by utilising their precious time for self-improvement and skill development. Instead of spending several hours on social media, people may do something more constructive like plant trees, render some kind of community service, and thereby contribute to society in a positive manner. Small acts of kindness, if practised selflessly, can lead to the attainment of immeasurable happiness and give a tremendous boost to one’s self-esteem.