Keeping up with the Joneses…Have you ever found yourself feeling less confident or inadequate when scrolling through social media? What's your take on how these platforms can impact our self-esteem and perceptions of ourselves?
The concept of “keeping up with the Joneses” is relevant when discussing the impact of social media on our self-esteem and self-perception. It’s not uncommon for people to find themselves feeling less confident or inadequate while scrolling through social media platforms.
Social media often presents a skewed version of people’s lives, highlighting their achievements, possessions, and positive moments. When we see these carefully chosen snapshots of others’ lives, it can lead to a sense of comparison. We might start questioning our own accomplishments, possessions, or even our appearance in comparison to what we see online.
This constant exposure to seemingly perfect lifestyles and achievements can contribute to feelings of inadequacy and lower self-esteem. We may start to believe that our lives don’t measure up to the standards we perceive on social media. It can be particularly challenging for individuals who are already prone to self-doubt or insecurity.
Moreover, the “highlight reel” nature of social media can sometimes blur the line between reality and idealized portrayals. It’s essential to remember that what we see on social media is often just a fraction of someone’s life, and it doesn’t capture the full spectrum of their experiences, challenges, and emotions.
To diminish the negative impact of social media on our self-esteem, it’s crucial to cultivate a healthy mindset. This involves recognizing that everyone has their own unique journey, and comparisons often don’t reflect the full reality of our lives. Limiting screen time, altering our social media feeds to include content that uplifts and inspires us, and practicing self-compassion are all strategies that can help us navigate social media in a more positive and self-affirming way. Ultimately, the key is to remember that our worth isn’t determined by how we compare to others online but by our individuality and the richness of our own experiences.
i am a student and I agree that social media can have a very negative impact on our self worth without the recognition that you already stated that it’s only a snapshot of their life. It would help greatly if there was a subject in a lower grade in school that gives us this insight. I believe it’s a life skill that can benefit people greatly to be able to be more discerning in what they take in from the posts of others. If anything, these people are dealing with feelings of inadequacies. It’s unfortunate because I found a lot of positive in seeing uplifting posts but due to the keeping up with jones aspect, I got off all social media. If people concentrated on making more in person positive connections, this can really help. Social media can be a good way to stay in contact with groups you see face to face but to rely solely on what someone posts as to what their lives are like is just a very distorted way to see it. Being aware of that fact makes it much easier to see if and not get so upset. If we find joy in our own lives, this can help a lot as well!
Imagine turning this concept around to say “we know that news outlets select sensational and negative headlines to attract viewers, and this skews our worldview — so we should curate our choice of news to reflect only the positive aspects of life.” Obviously, this would be a “head in the sand” approach to managing our impressions of the world around us. Not only would it be simplistic, but it would also lead to ignorance. Similarly, simply curating our social media feeds, while it might make us feel warm and fuzzy, won’t help us to better manage the impact of social media. Instead, it would serve the same purpose as reading only happy news: it would insulate us from reality while leaving us unaware of what’s going on and unable to handle negative input. I think a better approach would be, as the last commenter noted, to teach tools for responding to and engaging in social media in a healthy manner–and to practice those techniques in a safe and supportive space.
I completely agree with your perspective on social media’s impact on self-worth and the importance of teaching young people the skills to navigate it effectively. Indeed, incorporating lessons on digital literacy and critical thinking into school curricula could empower students to approach social media with a more discerning eye.
Your choice to prioritize in-person connections and recognize that social media offers only a partial view of people’s lives is commendable. Focusing on building genuine, real-life relationships and finding joy in one’s own life are essential for overall well-being. By encouraging such positive behaviors and attitudes, we can help individuals better manage the potential negative effects of social media and lead more fulfilling lives. It’s a valuable reminder that balance and self-awareness are key in our digital age.
I am a student, and yes social media has a negative impact on our self esteem, having had my own fair share of feeling demoralized or low after seeing how other people lives on social media are perfect from my own led me to a low self esteem feeling not even able to feel confident posting my pictures or anything on social media. often time I spend my time comparing myself to the people I see on social media which wasn’t healthy for me and my mental health. Like a user suggested maybe having topics taught like this in schools especially with the focus on new teenagers would be helpful to guide them while using social media.
Thank you so much for your comment! Can you elaborate further to outline what kinds of educational activities you would find helpful in dealing with the issue of our tendency to compare ourselves with others and to find our own circumstances lacking in some way?
I am a student. Social media has most definitely made me feel inadequate. No matter how authentic they are or not, celebrities show us a perfect life. In the past we had a better understanding of just how unrealistic their lives are compared to the everyday person. But with increases in technology and social media. Knowledge and communication are more accessible than ever before. There is far more access into the lives of strangers. Parasocial relationships are more common. Which leads to more comparison. And it is harder to tell reality from fiction, because you now feel like you understand this person. As a young teen I constantly compared myself to others online. This made it easier for me to slip into some pretty bad habits. I thought I knew what I could do to look like them. And when healthy solutions failed, I looked towards the radical options. Now that I am older, I know how to protect myself from those habits. But my insecurity has never fully gone away. I hope in the future we as a society are able to help our young minds to detect lies and misinformation online. Because if they are unable to, suddenly it will be their own minds working against them. Filled with unattainable goals and standards.
I would like to also pick up on Dr. William’s comment about finding joy in our lives and on self awareness. The keys to our joy are in our hands if we pay attention to how we respond in any given situation or to any given stimuli including our experiences on social media. Trying to focus on what we find exciting and on where we can access that kind of excitement in our own way with what we have available to us can be productive.
Due to social media being so prevalent in society today, many people end up struggling with mental health due to comparing themselves to others. When one logs on to a social media app, they will see millions of different people, and most of them may have the body that they want, the job that they want, or they may be going on a vacation to the place that they want to go, or they may have the car that they want, and their girlfriend or boyfriend is a model. And these people will claim to be “sescussful,” and they may be your age or maybe younger. What most people don’t realize are a few things. First of all, this is all fake or an illusion to get views and likes, and the message they are trying to spread has no worth. Second, you have no idea what that person’s actual story is; maybe they invested the money, or there is no money, or maybe they worked really hard and it happened. The thing that I remind myself of is to control what I can control, try and make the right decisions, try and do the right things, and work hard, and you’ll be ok. People need to learn to be happy with where they are and set achievable goals that are within reach. It’s great to shoot for the stars, and having all those nice things is great, but does it all really matter? What are the things that actually matter? At the end of the day, everyone needs to find their own way to be happy and stop worrying so much about what everyone else is doing.
Your suggestion of incorporating topics related to social media and its effects on self-esteem into school curricula is a thoughtful one. Given the widespread use of social media among teenagers, providing education and guidance on how to navigate these platforms in a healthy and self-affirming way could be immensely beneficial. Topics such as digital literacy, media literacy, and mental health awareness in the context of social media could equip young people with the skills and knowledge needed to manage their online experiences more effectively.
Promoting a culture of self-acceptance and emphasizing the distinction between online personas and real-life experiences are essential aspects of fostering a healthier relationship with social media. Your personal experience highlights the importance of this issue, and your suggestion could contribute to creating a more informed and emotionally resilient generation of social media users.
The pursuit of likes and views can lead people to prioritize superficial measures of self-worth over more meaningful values and achievements.
You also rightly highlight the importance of understanding that everyone has their unique journey and circumstances. What may appear as overnight success could involve hard work, perseverance, or even financial investments behind the scenes. Comparing oneself to others without considering these factors can be detrimental to one’s self-esteem and mental well-being.
Your reminder to focus on what one can control, make sound decisions, and set achievable goals is excellent advice. It encourages a healthier perspective on life and personal growth. Happiness often stems from pursuing meaningful goals and values, rather than material possessions or external validations.
I am a student and I have to say that trying to keep up with the Joneses is not the route to go. I guess it all depends on a person mindset and how a person views their life. I was always taught things aren’t always what they seem and also to never live above your means. Meaning on the outside to others a person could make their life look better than what it really is. I can definitely see how social media can be harsh and intimidating to someone but to me it’s all entertainment. So I can say that when I be on social media I have never found myself less confident nor impacted my self esteem.
I am a student. I believe that social media platforms highlight achievements and positive tasks leaving people feeling inadequate because all we’re able to see are the great days not the bad ones. It makes a lot of sense seeing as people usually keep their tough/bad days private not allowing anyone the opportunity to see their moments of weakness. The mannerisms of social media has changed drastically where a lot of boasting and arrogance tends to take place. People have a lot of opinions on certain living conditions, cars, mostly that are unwanted or unprovoked! Needless to say I have had plenty moments where I felt that I wasn’t where I needed to be at my age just because I took a look around at everyone else my age on social medias like instagram, or tiktok and had to come to the realization that we do not come from the same paths of life and that’s okay: it may take me longer to move to a new home, or to buy a new car, but that does not mean I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing because of what I see others doing. All in all comparison is the thief of happiness, as long as you’re comparing yourself to others you may never live up to your true potential.
I am a student. Social media is a huge part of our society. Typically, when people post on social media platforms they don’t always show all of the negative parts of their lives. They tend to post all of the things they want others to see and believe to be true about them. Most people tend to sensationalize parts of their lives to promote more people to “like” or be interested in what they post. So when scrolling through social media, I have found myself to feel less confident at times. We have to remember that social media is not always based on truth and shouldn’t reflect on perceptions of ourselves. One way to go about this is to limit the time spent on social media and keep in mind that everything we see on social media is not based on real life. Comparing ourselves to others on social media is an unhealthy behavior and not good for our confidence and mental health.
I am a student and I definitely agree that social media has an effect on self esteem. I think social media gives women especially a flawed view on what they should look like and have. Ever time you log into social media theres an IG model bragging about a recent BBL making young girls believe their not beautiful without a flat stomach wide hips and a big chest. People base self worth off instagram likes. What we need to realize is that when posting on social media you choose what the world can see you dont always have to show reality. Its a smoke screen to hide behind.