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SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 1

The Impact of Social Media on Ones Self-Esteem



Aaron Lichtenwalter
Adam Mitchell
Veronica Krolikowski
Jessica Shiptoski
Brendan Gorman

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

May 4, 2014


SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 2


Abstract
The purpose of this research was to find out if there is a connection between social media and
ones self-esteem. Over the last ten years, social media has taken off from being used by a small
minority, to being used by individuals of all ages. The primary research our group used focused
on testing the impact of this new outlet. Our group used the mixed methods of quantitative
research (surveys) and qualitative research (interviews) to analyze the feelings of 110
Bloomsburg University students (100 surveyed, 10 interviewed) who were all undergrad
students. Building upon current studies and our primary research, we hope to establish a
connection between social media and its effect on self-esteem.
















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Table of Contents
Introduction5
Literature Review
Social Media has Become Popular within Recent Years5
Social Media Exists in Various Forms....7
Social Media has an Effect on Ones Self Esteem..9
Students are Among Those Affected by Social Media..10
There are Ways to Identify and Control Social Medias Impact on Self-Esteem..11
Question of Inquiry13
Scope..13
Ethical Considerations13
Methodology
Methods of Research...14
Sample Size.....14
Rationale..15
Data Collection16
Data Analysis...17
Key Findings17
Discussion.....22
Limitations23
Conclusion & Recommendations.24
References.....25
Appendix A Survey....28
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Appendix B Interview Questions33

















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Introduction
Todays world is one of instant communication. Social media forms have exacerbated
the speed at which messages can be sent and have allowed individuals to share pictures, status
updates, and personal messages with others in a matter of seconds. Depending on the messages
conveyed via social media, users may respond with a variety of emotions. For this reason, our
group was lead to wonder whether social media could affect ones self-esteem and whether the
effect could be considered primarily positive or negative.
The purpose of this communication study was to find out if there is a connection between
social media and ones self-esteem among Bloomsburg University students. Social media in
relation to this study includes the most visited social media sites by Bloomsburg University
undergraduate students. Self-esteem is defined as ones perception of oneself. Social media is
defined as websites and other online means of communication to connect with others, in a
personal or professional fashion. Students may be defined as 18-24 year-olds enrolled at
Bloomsburg University. The following literature review on social media includes five main
areas of discussion: The popularity of social media within recent years, social medias
occurrence in various environments, the effect social media has on ones self esteem, a specific
population affected by social media, and ways to identify and control social medias impact on
self-esteem.
Social Media has Become Popular within Recent Years
Soon after the launch of the Internet and email, the idea of connecting with others online
gained popularity. In 1985, American Online (AOL) made its first appearance, and within a few
years, it became the inspiration of instant online communication. Due to its popularization with
SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 6

youth, companies began to seek opportunity in the emerging market. One of the first attempts at
social media was the site, SixDegrees.com, which was introduced in 1997 (Curtis, 2013). At a
basic level, it allowed individuals to create profiles and add friends. Two years later, in 1999,
Friends Reunited was launched in England with the intention to reconnect old schoolmates.
While Friends United is often viewed as the first successful social media site, its momentum was
short lived.
Modeling after Friends Reunited in England, Friendster was introduced in the United
States in 2002. Within three months, the site had three million users (Goble, 2012). Inspired by
its success, site developers soon brought Myspace and LinkedIn to the market. Myspace
operated in a fashion similar to Friendster, but LinkedIn operated differently in that its focus was
on connecting professionals with one another.
Over the years, Myspace and LinkedIn developed an ever increasing population of new
users which had lead others worldwide to notice the impact of social media in 2004 (Chapman,
2009). It was in this year that Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins developed Facebook
at Harvard University. At the time, the idea did not seem to be such an important event;
however, its impact over the next ten years had completely changed the Internet use today. From
its start on Harvards campus, the Facebook network soon opened up to other college and high
school students. In 2008, Facebook was growing in popularity and had surpassed Myspace to
become the most popular media outlet, based on the number of users (Bennett, 2013). In 2010,
only six years after the social media site was developed, the Facebook had over 400 million
users. The population of 400 million rose to 550 million in only one year. Even more staggering
from having 550 million users in 2011, the site now has over 1.1 billion users today.
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As social media gained strength and support, many new users were drawn to it. Professionals
use it for networking opportunities and also to refer more business to those within their networks.
The newest participants in Facebook and LinkedIn are both large and small businesses that use
the site as a way to increase brand recognition.
Social Media Exists in Various Forms
Social media has become very persuasive. Statements such as Like us on Facebook for
special deals have become a commonplace in business culture. Aside from Facebook, there are
other types of social media available. According to Andreas M. Kaplan and Michael Haenlein,
there are six categories of social media:
1) Collaborative projects, also as known as Wiki's; this website allows users the ability to
edit or add information to projects. With these capabilities, there are a variety of pros and
cons. The members of the groups have the ability to make edits for better or worse, and
sometimes they provide false information, which can cause setbacks.
2) Blogs allow a variety of functions to their users. For example, one may use a blog to
create an online journal, to provide information on certain subjects, or to update its
viewers with important information.
3) Content communities are sites in which one can share pictures, videos, documents,
books, or presentations (i.e. YouTube, Flickr). Companies have found content
communities beneficial because professional presentations can be generated with little
effort.
4) Social networking sites (i.e. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn) allow individuals and
businesses to communicate and share personal information. The ability to connect with
friends is one of the most common uses of social networking sites.
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5) Virtual game worlds (i.e. League of Legends, World of Warcraft) allow users to play
games and connect with others in a fantasy world or realistic setting.
6) Virtual social worlds (i.e. Second Life) allow users to create a virtual life similar to the
one in which they live or create a personality that is the opposite of them (2010).
Each of the six mediums of social media has advantages and disadvantages linked to its
function. Let's say, one is vacationing and wishes to share experiences with friends, a blog,
content community, or a social networking site would allow him or her to easily transfer photos
and messages. A disadvantage of the six ways is that once information is posted, it is sometimes
difficult to get rid of damaging content. Employers have recently begun screening applicants
based on their online accounts because of the plentiful information available online. For this
reason, professionals seek to remove any damaging content that may potentially impact his or
her job search. (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). In Figure 1, the social media types are scaled against
the relationship between self-presentation and self-disclosure. It also examines the social
presence on a similar scale.

Figure 1: (Kaplan, & Haenlein, 2010, p. 2).

In 2010, Teresa Correa, Amber Willard, and Homero Gil de Ziga conducted a study of
the most common web users. The study revealed that extroverts and emotionally unstable people
were more likely to use social networking sites to reveal their emotions as compared to others.
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The research concluded that more than 50% of the younger generation is likely to use social
media (Correa, Hinsley, & De Zuniga, 2010). This shows that there is a correlation between a
younger generation and social media; therefore, the students will be most affected by this
communication device.
Social Media has an Effect on Ones Self Esteem
With social media becoming an essential part of ones life in the 21
st
century and with []
millions of users spending 22 percent of their time online (Falcon, 2012, p. 1), it has been
proven to have an effect on each users life. Previously mentioned in this review, there are many
forms of social media ranging from websites such as Twitter and Facebook, to blogs, and text
messaging. When using social media, negative effects can range from induced behavioral
problems to mental health disorders. If social media is used appropriately, it can have positive
effects such as improvements in relationships, communication, and entertainment. There have
been studies conducted to prove both positive and negative societal effects of social media.
According to Engenia Ives, there are eleven categories of negative effects that go hand-
in-hand with social media. These categories are of the following, but not limited to, the brain,
attention deficit, tethered, emotional health, aggressive behavior, addiction, cyber bullying,
sexting, physical heath, piracy, and etiquette (Ives, 2013, p. 29). Within recent years, users
have tried to make themselves more desirable in others eyes. The online personality of oneself
may cause for one of two serious negative effects: depression and a false sense of connection.
The cause of social media related depression is the thought that ones life does not measure up to
others who use the site (Falcon, 2012). This in itself is a false sense of connection.
Furthermore, the rise in ADHD diagnosis [which] has [risen] 66 percent in the last decade is
an indicator of the negative impacts of social media (Ives, 2013, p. 32).
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Despite the negative consequences of using social media, one may not overlook the
positive effects. One of the largest benefits that social media has is its ability to bring a large
group of people together for a cause. When social media is used correctly, communication
barriers may be removed, allowing users to interact with one another in a quick and efficient
manner (Ali, 2013). There are always positives and negatives to every situation, and these are
just a few to define social media.
Students are Among Those Affected by Social Media
In order to recognize positive and negative relations with social media and users, you
must first determine the largest population of users. Research has shown that college students are
those who are primarily affected by social media. Those involved in the use of any technology,
not limited to social media, tend to use it as a daily activity that gives them fulfillment. As Mae-
Li Allison and Tara M. Emmers-Sommer the mention in the article Beyond Individualism-
Collectivism and Conflict Style: Considering Acculturation and Media Use,
Electronic acculturation occurs through mediums such as television, computer, and
the radio (Ziegler, 2007) and is indicated by Prensky (2001), who estimated that, in their
lifetimes, college students have spent more time watching television (20,000 hours) and playing
video games (10,000 hours) than reading books (5,000 hours).
This statistic shows how college students are really spending their time. When it comes to
social media, there is a deeply rooted reason why undergraduates collect on specific social media
pages. In the article by Arthur Levine and Diane R. Dean, Its Only Technology If It Happens
After You Are Born, the authors explain that undergraduates have created their own
communitiessmall towns or tribes of family, friends and others with shared interests and
experiences on- and off-campus (2013, p.6 ). Connections and relationships with others make a
SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 11

huge impact on a students life. It allows students a sense of comfort and acceptance, and if
social media fosters that type of environment, then that is where college students are going to
spend the most time.
Social media has a distinct effect on female students compare to males. Valenzuela, Park,
and Kee state, Compared to men, women prefer and more frequently use text messaging, social
media, and online video calls (2009, p. 876 ). It seems like female students almost rely on the
social networking to communicate daily. In Barkers article it mentions that Females also
posted higher means for group-in-self, passing time, and entertainment (2009, p. 10 ). Not only
are female students using the web to communicate, they have also found a way to make it as a
leisure activity. This provides truth behind the fact that female undergraduates are more affected
by social media than male.
Males are not as involved on social networking sites as their female colleagues are.
Kimbrough, Guadagno, Muscanell, and Dills article examines how women, as opposed to men,
are more inclined to use the Internet even though both still use it as a communication tool. The
article written by Barker also mentioned how men use Social Networking Sites for social
gratification and compensation of not spending time in person. In comparison, male students are
not as reliant on social media and, therefore, not as affected as females.
There are Ways to Identify and Control Social Medias Impact on Self-Esteem
There are ways to identify and control social medias impact on self-esteem. As
mentioned previously, social media may directly contribute to low self-esteem and psychological
disorders, or it may be used to boost self-esteem and treat pre-existing conditions. Related to the
latter observation, a recent case study produced by Pavel Veretilo, MD, revealed an instance in
which social media use benefited a patient suffering from Bipolar Disorder type I and Post
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Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The subject of the case, Mr. A., used Facebook as a non-
threatening medium to reconnect with trustworthy friends he had made in the past and develop
his interpersonal skills. Within a year of joining Facebook and attending regular therapy
sessions, Mr. A was able treat isolative habits and symptoms of sleep deprivation related to his
previous diagnoses (Veretilo, 2012).
In contrast to Veretilos conclusions, a study of 322 University of Michigan
undergraduates revealed a positive correlation between media use and symptoms of
psychological dysfunction. Students in this study were asked to complete a questionnaire which
assessed overall media use and the percentages of time devoted to each source. Four out of the
12 mediums included in the survey were related to social media forms: computer-based video
sites, video or computer games, instant messaging, and internet use. After analysis, the
researchers found that media multitasking was a unique predictor of self-reported symptoms of
both depression and social anxiety (Becker, Alzahabi, & Hopwood, 2013, p. 133).
Furthermore, a 2012 study of 281 undergraduates, conducted by Robert Kittinger, M.A.,
Christopher J. Correia, Ph.D., and Jessica G. Irons, Ph.D., found that Facebook use was
associated with symptoms of problematic internet use and as an addiction among college
students. For instance, approximately 1 in 6 participants reported problems in their lives
associated with internet use. Of those, a sizeable number reported issues with time management,
troublesome behavior, and feeling of addiction (Kittinger, Correia, & Irons, 2012). It seems like
social media plays a critical role to some people.
Fortunately, treatment is available to those who suffer from social media related
disorders. While The American Psychiatric Association does not specifically list social media
disorders as a separate diagnosis in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,
SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 13

symptoms of social media disorders may be classified in terms of internet addiction, anxiety, and
depression. Therefore, clinicians tend couple treatments related to the broader diagnoses, for
instance, cognitive behavioral therapies, with controlled internet use, in the treatment of their
patients (Young, 1998).
Multimedia in the form of social media is a curse and blessing wrapped up in one. It has
grown to be so prevalent in todays society and continues to grow more and more every day.
There is an evident connection between social media and ones self-esteem. If signs and/or
symptoms of anxiety, depression, and addiction from the use of social media arise, they can be
treated thanks to this research and development.
Question of Inquiry
Through our research, will attempt to find both the positive and negative effects that
social media provides to its users. We also would like to pinpoint the degree of the negative
effects of social media such as loneliness, depression, ADHD, and social anxiety. Furthermore,
we hope to expose any differences between our research and the research analyzed in the
literature review.
Scope
The scope of our research was limited to all undergraduate students between the ages of
18 and 24 at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Due to time constraints, this scope was all
that we had access to. We attempted to find the positive and negative effects that social media
has on its users within this population.
Ethical Considerations
Our group did not find any ethical dilemmas in regards to our research.


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Methods of Research
Our group used both quantitative and qualitative methods of research to determine how
social media affects ones self-esteem. There are two main reasons why we used a mixed
method. First, the quantitative research provided statistical evidence of how many students are
affected by social media. Second, the qualitative research revealed the sources and solutions of
social media disconnect. According to John W. Creswell in Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of
Hearing Data, both quantitative and qualitative research provide meaning behind existing
studies statistics and theories (Creswell, 2014, p. 4). One such study was conducted in 2012 by
Robert Kittinger, M.A., Christopher J. Correia, Ph.D., and Jessica G. Irons, Ph.D. After
sampling 281 undergraduate students, the researchers found that Facebook use was associated
with symptoms of problematic internet use and addiction (Kittinger, Correia, & Irons, 2012, p.
326). Although the research was insightful, it assessed the effect of only a specific social
networking site and failed to gain personal testimony from its participants. By conducting both
surveys and interviews, our group was able to assess the positive and negative effects for a
variety of social media forms.
Sample Size
Our group sampled students from various demographic backgrounds and undergraduate
programs at Bloomsburg University. Those sampled represented Generation Y, as they were
between the ages of 18-24. Generation Y [grew] up with technology; they experience[d]
technology even before romance enter[ed] their lives" (Walter, 2012, para. 1). Since those
sampled had a deep connection with social media forms had experienced its effects first-hand,
they were considered experts of the study (Rubin & Rubin, 2012, p. 15). Because of this, our
groups sample choice was validated.
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Rationale
The undergraduate student survey contained 20 closed-ended questions and the interview
contained 12 open-ended questions. Both the survey and interview transitioned from users
experience with social media to his or her emotional connection to it. Demographic questions
appeared at both the end of the survey and the beginning of the interview. Of the 20 survey
questions, seven used a five-point Likert scale asking students how much they agree or disagree
with a statement; the remaining questions were in yes or no, scalar, and multiple choice forms.
Some of the survey questions were indirectly drawn from the research of Kramer and Winter.
For example, questions three and four related to the studys connection of ones self-esteem and
social media (Kramer & Winter, 2008, p. 5). The other portion of our survey questions and a
majority of interview questions were drawn from the DeGroot (2011, p. 5) and Kittinger,
Correia, and Irons (2012, p. 326) studies which analyzed how social media relates to young
peoples self-esteem and relationships. Interview question number nine, which read, Do you
find it easier to be confrontational in person or via social media? was drawn directly from a
study done by Regan and Steeves (2010, p. 8). This study observed social medias ability to
empower young people.
Demographics were an important part of our survey and interview, and only a small
range of students had been chosen as the sample population: Bloomsburg University
undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 24. By understanding the background of our
sample population, our group was able to assess how social media affects specific populations.
For example, by asking the participants gender, we could determine whether males and females
are affected differently by social media. By asking college standing (i.e. freshman, sophomore,
junior, senior, other), we determined the technological dependence of each class and whether
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classes differ on their social media use. From this, we concluded which class appeared to be
most affected by social media.
Social media is used in both personal settings as well as in professional settings. By
asking participants to list his or her college, we determined if there is a correlation between
social media and ones career path. Grade point average (GPA) is yet another demographic
question that was asked. This was to see whether there was correlation between ones academic
standing and his or her reliance on social media.
Furthermore, most of the survey questions could be answered based on agreeableness,
while those of the interview required a more lengthy and detailed response. Some of the
questions came directly from sources, while others were indirectly derived. By including
questions based on demographics and the feelings and interactions associated with social media,
our group hoped to distinguish how social media affects undergraduates self-esteem. Again, our
group used mixed method instruments to relate undergraduate majors, social media forms, and
self-esteem. All of the questions in our survey and interviews were closely related to our
purpose statement.
Data Collection
Due to time constraints, our group surveyed 100 students electronically and interviewed
ten students face-to-face. Due to the small sample size, our group could not correlate the
findings to larger populations. We collected the data by personally asking students to complete
our surveys and interviews. The surveys were administered via Kwiksurveys.com. Student
interviews were conducted on campus at the interviewees leisure.


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Data Analysis
Analyzing the data from the online survey was as easy as a click of a button. Response
percentages for each question could be viewed in a variety of formats, such as in pie chart or bar
graph form. These tools allowed for quick and efficient comparisons of the participants answers.
The interview responses were read through by two team members. These individuals
compiled similarities and differences between the responses. Findings were based on the number
of respondents who had similar answers. The following are findings ranked from one to ten, with
ten being the most surprising.
Key Findings
Key Finding #1: Forty-four percent of students felt addicted to social media, while 41% did not
feel addicted.


The percentage of students who felt they were addicted to social media was almost the
same as the percentage of students who felt they were not addicted. This was interesting because
when stated directly, participants were reluctant to admit feeling addicted. However, as research
SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 18

finding #4 will prove, participants are extremely reliant on social media, to the fact that they log
in multiple times a day.
Key Finding #2: Every interviewee was a Facebook user.
All of the 10 interviewees reported to be Facebook users. The participants admitted that
they have social media primarily because today's generation pressures everyone to have
one. Even if they do not use their social media page often, they have one merely to stay
connected with society.
Key Finding #3: Women tend to use more forms of social media than men use.
Of those interviewed, females reported to use an average of three to four types of social
media, while males reported to use an average of two types of social media. It was found that
Facebook and Twitter were the primary websites used by both genders. Instagram and Snapchat
made up the other two categories of social media used by females who were interviewed.
Key Finding #4: 83% of those surveyed noted that they log into social media more than once a
day.

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This finding revealed participants reliance on social media. There was a wide gap
between the percentages of students who log in only once a day, as opposed to those who log in
multiple times per day. Based upon this observation, one may note that social media has become
a prominent force in a college age students everyday life, and proves worthy of ones time.
Key Finding #5: Three out of five interviewees would rather confront someone over social
media, as opposed to face-to-face confrontation.
This finding provided that three out of five interviewees would rather confront someone
over social media. This is based on the idea that when a confrontation is made over the Internet,
it gives the person who is confronting more time to think about exactly what they want to say.
Also the confronter does not have look directly at their adversary when communicating over the
Internet.
Key Finding #6: Four out of five interviewees provided that social media has made them upset
due to offensive comments on their page.
Based upon the interviews conducted, our group found that social media users tend to
circumnavigate negativity. Proof of this is that all of the interviewees revealed that they have
deleted something on Facebook because it was controversial to either their personal or
professional lives. To avoid being upset while looking at something, it was easiest for the user to
delete the negativity off of their page.


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Key Finding #7: When asked if social media has a positive or negative effect on self-esteem,
subjects were neutral.

Even though subjects reported to be upset because of negative comments on their social
media pages, they were neutral about whether it impacted their self-esteem. This lead our group
to wonder if subjects felt it had an equal positive and negative impact or if social media had no
impact at all on their self-esteem. Thus, no direct correlation could be made from this finding as
to whether social media positively or negatively impacted ones self-esteem. The following
findings, however, provided indirect evidence on social medias negative impact on self-esteem.
Key Finding #8: All interviewees revealed that they have deleted something on Facebook
because it caused either a personal or professional controversy.
Each of the interviewees described instances where he or she posted comments or photos
that were later regretted. As a result, the interviewees admitted to deleting the controversial
posts from their social media accounts. These findings lead our group to conclude that regret is a
negative effect of social media on ones self-esteem.
Key Finding #9: About one third of those surveyed have experienced anxiety because of social
media use.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 21


These finding allowed our group to conclude that anxiety is yet another negative effect of
social media on ones self-esteem.
Key Finding #10: 32% reported that they have experienced loneliness because of social media.

Even though the purpose of social media is to allow people to connect with one another,
32% of those surveyed reported that they have experienced loneliness because of social media.


SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 22

Discussion
After our team analyzed the research data, a shocking finding was that 32% of all the
people we surveyed experienced loneliness due to social media. This is appalling because the
purpose of social media is to allow people to connect and talk to one another, but it has made
some people feel more alone. There seems to be a false sense of connection. According to
(Falcon, 2012), this false sense of collection is caused due to the thought of ones life does not
measure up to others who are using the same social media site (i.e. Facebook, Twitter). Another
negative effect of social media was that it may cause addictiveness. Research from Ives (2013),
states that ADHD diagnosis has risen 66% in the last decade. Our research found that 19% of
those surveyed stated that they have experienced ADHD and 29% have experienced social
anxiety due to social media.
As mentioned previously, our team used both surveys and interviews to gain data. An
interesting finding from the interviews was that all of the interviewees have deleted an item, such
as a picture or a written comment, from a social media site. This proves that people care about
the way they are portrayed over social media and take efforts to preserve their self-image. All
interviewees believe the main reason for deleting the items on their page was because they
proved to be false representations of themselves. While our main goal was to find the
connection between social media and the effect on ones self-esteem, our research found that
people are not sure whether or not there is a positive or negative effect. Studies have found the
positive effects of social media to be related to relationships and entertainment. Furthermore,
research has shown that social media allows people to interact in a quick and efficient manner
(Ali, 2013). However, research has also shown how social media can negatively affect ones
brain, attention span, emotional health, etc. (Ives, 2013). We believe our findings correlate with
SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 23

the positive and negative impacts found in these studies. While there is evidence of social
medias positive and negative impacts, it is still undecided on whether social media, overall, is a
negative or positive tool for people to use.
Despite those surveyed feeling neutral about social medias impact, we found evidence
that subjects felt upset over negative comments on social media. Also, interviewees felt that it
was easier to confront someone over social media rather than face-to-face. It was also found that
about half of the people surveyed felt addicted (44%) , while the other half felt they were not
addicted (41%).
The population of Facebook users has intensely grown over the past couple years from
400 million in 2010 to 550 million in 2011, while today it has over 1.1 billion users (Bennett,
2013). This was supported with the finding that all the people we interviewed had a Facebook
and 95% of the people surveyed used additional social networking sites. With the continued
increase in popularity in the world, our research found that 83% of those surveyed log into social
media every day, which helps prove the increased popularity of social media websites. Overall,
we found that females in our study used more forms of social media than males used. This
correlates with the previous finding that when compared to men, women prefer and more
frequently use text messaging, social media, and online video calls (Valenzuela, Park, & Kee,
2009, p. 875).
Limitations
There were several limitations to our project. One of them was the fact that the surveyed
population was not statistically representative of the overall population. For example, only
college age students in a limited demographic area were surveyed. Another limitation was that
many of the survey and interview questions focused on ones feelings. Because participants
SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 24

may have felt embarrassed to admit their feelings, some of our answers may have been skewed.
By using an online survey, we may have had participants that were not part of our targeted group
(i.e. college age social media users) take the survey. Another limitation was that the survey was
available online only and not as a paper copy, which may have prevented those without a
computer to access our survey.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The purpose of the communication study was to find out if there was a connection
between social media and one's self-esteem among Bloomsburg University undergraduate
students. The group research was conducted using a mixed methods approach. Both surveys
and interviews were conducted primarily with College of Business students of both genders,
ranging from ages 18 to 24. Secondary research studies, as well as the data we collected,
provided that there are both positive and negative effects of social media. The next step that our
group would like to take, if possible, would be to inform people other than our class, immediate
family, and friends that social media can have an effect on self-esteem. Furthermore, we would
like to encourage others limit their dependence on social media. Lastly, our group would like to
examine how other generations will be affected by social media. The research conducted was
elusive to only one generation; in the future, it would be favorable to see how younger
generations and older generations react to social media. Finally, there is a hope that one day
people will not feel negatively affected from websites that are meant to bring individuals
together.



SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 25

References
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http://www.techbead.com/positive-and-negative-effects-of-social-media-on-society/
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SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 28

Appendix A
The following survey will be used to assess social medias impact on self-esteem for a
business communication class.

Social media websites and other electronic means of communication to connect with others in
a personal and professional fashion

Social media can take the following forms: collaborative projects, blogs, content communities
(i.e. YouTube, Flickr), social networking sites (i.e. Myspace, Facebook, LinkedIn), virtual game
worlds, virtual social worlds.
1* How often do you log into any form of social media?


Never


A few times a month


Once a day


More than once a day
2* I use social media to play games. (i.e. WoW, League of Legends, Eve Online etc.)


Strongly Agree


Agree


Neutral


Disagree


Strongly Disagree
3* I think social media positively impacts my self-esteem.


Strongly Agree


Agree


Neutral


Disagree


Strongly Disagree




SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 29


4* I think social media negatively impacts my self-esteem.


Strongly Agree


Agree


Neutral


Disagree


Strongly Disagree
5* On a weekly basis, I keep face-to-face contact with at least 10% of my social media
friends. (10% of 100 friends would be 10 friends)


Strongly Agree


Agree


Neutral


Disagree


Strongly Disagree
6* On a weekly basis, I keep in contact with at least 10% of my social media friends
ONLY via social networking sites. (10% of 100 friends would be 10 friends)


Strongly Agree


Agree


Neutral


Disagree


Strongly Disagree
7* I feel addicted to social media.


Strongly Agree


Agree


Neutral


Disagree


Strongly Disagree

SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 30

8* If I quit using social media, I would be socially hurt.


Strongly Agree


Agree


Neutral


Disagree


Strongly Disagree
9* I use social media for professional use.


Yes


No
10* I use social media to keep in contact with friends and relatives.


Yes


No
11* I have experienced substance abuse because of social media.


Yes


No

12* I have experienced ADHD because of social media.


Yes


No

13* I have experienced loneliness because of social media.


Yes


No









SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 31






14* I have experienced depression because of social media.


Yes


No





15* I have experienced social anxiety because of social media.





Yes


No





16* Which types of social media to you use? Please check all that apply.


Collaborative projects


Blogs


Content communities (i.e. YouTube, Flickr)


Social networking sites(i.e. Myspace, Facebook, LinkedIn)


Virtual game worlds


Virtual social worlds
17* What is your gender?


Male


Female
18* What is your college standing?


Freshman


Sophomore


Junior


Senior


Other





SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 32

19* What college do you belong to?


College of Business


College of Education


College of Liberal Arts


College of Science and Technology
20* What is your overall GPA?


3.5- 4.0


2.5- 3.4


2.4 or lower
Thank you for your time!














SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 33

Appendix B
The following interview will be used to assess social medias impact on self-esteem for a
business communication class.
Social media websites and other electronic means of communication to connect with others in
a personal and professional fashion

Social media can take the following forms: collaborative projects, blogs, content communities
(i.e. YouTube, Flickr), social networking sites (i.e. Myspace, Facebook, LinkedIn), virtual game
worlds, virtual social worlds.

1. What is your gender? _____________________________



2. What is your college standing? _____________________________

3. Which types of social media to you use?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________

4. Explain a time when social media has made you upset, if it has.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

5. Explain a time when social media has made you feel self-confident, if it has.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 34

6. What types of information do you share via social media?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

7. Do you feel that you are pressured to use social media forms? Yes or no? Why?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

8. Overall, do you think that social media forms have a positive or negative impact on ones
self-esteem? If you have a personal example, please share.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

9. Do you find it easier to be confrontational in person or via social media? Explain.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
10. Which do you value more about social media, sending/sharing of information or
receiving/viewing of information? Why?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________


SOCIAL MEDIA AND SELF-ESTEEM 35

11. What is your favorite form of social media? Why?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
12. Have you ever deleted a statement or picture from a social media site? Why?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for your time!