Social Media Likes & Self Worth
Rida Nadeem Memon
This capstone research project was conducted to find the relationship between social media likes and individuals self worth and self esteem impacts. To analyze this topic further, I began my research through a literature review study approach, focusing on qualitative data from various existing research and literature forms or studies conducted prior. I engaged with scholarly peer-reviewed articles along with journalistic literature publications online. After observing the information and data collected, I critically analyzed my findings and found there is a direct link between negative impacts on self-esteem and the amount of likes one receives on social media content. The most affected demographic is adolescent females aged 16-24. Moreover, the platform most notoriously known to spike insecurities is Instagram. This is largely due to the nature of the platform, as Instagram is an app where users typically post photos of themselves. Users reported attributing the amount of likes a photo receives to how they feel about themselves. More likes from a post would create a dopamine rush and feelings of instant gratification. In contrast, if a post is faltering or not receiving as much engagement, feelings of anxiety and depression would spike. Nearly 60% of adolescents reported lacking confidence at times when their content did not acquire a certain amount of likes on social media. My findings found that the demographic whose self-worth was least impacted by the like button was self-identified males or individuals past the age of 26. Despite the like button being created as a positive action for users, the negative impact it holds cannot be dismissed. Social media platforms such as Youtube and Instagram have begun test trials hiding the number of likes visible on a post specifically for users who find it negatively impacts their self-esteem and worth. Moving forward, more platforms should acknowledge the mental health crisis surrounding the impact behind the like button and produce different ways for users to engage with content without highlighting a numerical value attached to posts.
Social Media, Behavior