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Social networking sites (SNS) like Facebook provide several social comparison opportunities. College students use several methods of social media to communicate and stay in touch with friends and family around the world. Although Facebook allows its users to post pictures, plan social events, meet new people, sustain relationships, and observe others’ lives, it also traps its users into a world where they (consciously and unconsciously) compare their lives to those of others. Facebook users self-evaluate and self-enhance their lives by socially comparing themselves with the detailed information they receive from other users. This frequent comparison indicates that social network sites are an important venue where people can evaluate themselves (e.g., opinions, abilities, and emotions), develop their own identities, and where people can also feel happy/unhappy or satisfied/dissatisfied with themselves from comparison with others (Lee, 2014). Shaw and Grant’s (2002) study indicated that internet use decreased depression and loneliness and increased both self-esteem and social support; however, Kraut et al. (1998) found internet use to be positively associated with depression, loneliness, and stress. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the correlation between the use of Facebook and students’ level of self-esteem. Specifically looking at the amount of time college students’ spend on Facebook and how it makes them feel lonely or unhappy with themselves, ultimately affecting their self-esteem.
Forty participants were sent an email link with one online survey on surveymonkey.com to complete. They responded to a combined 33 questions from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965), the Facebook Usage and Experience Measure (derived from Rouis, Limayem, & Salehi-Sangari, 2011), and the Demographics questionnaire regarding age, ethnicity, marital status, and gender. This study predicts that students with intense use of Facebook are affected negatively and have a lower self-esteem than those who do not.
Afshin Gharib, Ph.D.
Scholarly and Creative Works Conference, Dominican University of California
San Rafael, CA
Gutierrez, Derry E., "Self-Esteem Issues in Facebook Users" (2015). Student Research Posters. 8.