Social Media Addiction and Self-Esteem

In this era, many individuals, especially in their youth, are overly involved in their use of social media. Studies indicate that there is a connection between negative psychological wellness, social media as well as social media use. Whereas social media platforms have immense benefits, frequent use can bring about feelings of unhappiness and isolation. The negative emotional reactions result from the social pressure of sharing online with other people as well as comparing themselves materially with others. For instance, on Facebook and Instagram, users view content that is particularly targeted according to their interests. They see other people posting things such as their successful jobs, beautiful houses, and great spouses.

There is a section of people that will feel inspired or motivated to reach such accomplishments. However, there is a group of people that become depressed because their lives do not match the ones of their online friends. This results in many feeling as if they are not worthy, and their self-esteem becomes low. The purpose of this project is to show that there is a relationship between high levels of social media addiction among college students and low levels of self-esteem. The project intends to prove, as suggested by (Andreassen et al., 2017), that social media addiction among young people results in low self-esteem. In turn, the issue has resulted in many cases of suicides.

Checking as well as scrolling through the social media pages is slowly becoming a popular activity. Even though many individuals’ use is non-problematic, there is a section of users that are addicted to the platforms and are involved in excessive use (Hawi & Samaha, 2017). Psychologists approximate as many as five to ten percent of college students in the US fall in this category, as suggested by (Savci & Aysan, 2017). Addiction refers to a behavioral addiction that is characterized as being extra worried concerning social media. It is caused by an overwhelming desire to log on to online space and commit much effort and time that it distracts from other more essential issues of life.

Social media addiction is similar to other substance use disorders and may consist of mood alteration, salience, tolerance, withdrawal indicators, conflict, as well as relapse. It can be greatly attributed to the dopamine-inducing social surroundings the platforms offer (Hou et al., 2019). Platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, as well as Instagram give similar neural circuitry that results from recreational drugs and gambling to ensure that users keep on spending as much time as possible online. According to (Kumar & Mondal, 2018), the endless stream of likes, retweets and shares from the platforms results in the mind’s reward area to trigger a similar chemical reaction witnessed from drugs such as cocaine.

Self-esteem refers to an individual’s overall feeling about themselves, for instance, how someone feels about individual capabilities as well as limitations. On the one hand, when a person has positive self-esteem, they feel good and view themselves as deserving of others’ respect (Hou et al., 2019). On the other hand, if a person has low self-esteem, they put little value on their opinions plus ideas. Such individuals continuously worry that they may not be good enough (Grau et al., 2019). The focus is mainly on perceived faults and weaknesses as well as gives little credit to one’s skills plus assets. Many college students experiencing low self-esteem have reported that they feel like others are more successful or capable.

Studies have discovered that constant use of social media has led to individuals believing that other people are more successful and happier. This is particularly when they have little knowledge about other individuals in real life (Andreassen et al., 2017). The online space facilitates a surrounding whereby different users compare their real offline selves to the filtered, flawless, plus edited social versions of other users. This can be damaging to the psychological wellness plus view of oneself. Excessive utilization of one’s time online causes not only unhappiness but also an overall feeling of dissatisfaction with life. It also increases the risk of contracting mental wellbeing conditions like depression and anxiety.

Constant comparisons between themselves and others result in a feeling of self-consciousness or a desire for perfection, which mainly manifests in the form of social anxiety condition. Another aspect of this condition caused by social media use is FOMO, which means a fear of missing out (Kumar & Mondal, 2018). The immense fear of being excluded or missing social events is dangerous to the mental wellbeing of a person. A user may see online posts of pictures of events that they were not asked to attend.

The posts can also be about peeps of fun excursions they could not commit to due to other obligations such as school and experience anxiety that other people do not care about them. The fear of missing out takes a toll on self-esteem plus leads to compulsive checking of social media platforms to ensure that someone is not missing out. This ultimately results in problems in a college student’s educations. Research done by Harvard University discovered that social media has a major impact on the emotional wellness of chronic users plus their lives, as suggested by (Savci & Aysan, 2017). It negatively impacts their academic performance as well as real-life relations.


Andreassen, C. S., Pallesen, S., & Griffiths, M. D. (2017). The relationship between addictive use of social media, narcissism, and self-esteem: Findings from a large national survey. Addictive Behaviors, 64, 287–293. Web.

Grau, S., Kleiser, S., & Bright, L. (2019). Exploring social media addiction among student Millennials. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 22(2), 200–216. Web.

Hawi, N. S., & Samaha, M. (2016). The Relations Among Social Media Addiction, Self-Esteem, and Life Satisfaction in University Students. Social Science Computer Review, 35(5), 576–586. Web.

Hou, Y., Xiong, D., Jiang, T., Song, L., & Wang, Q. (2019). Social media addiction: Its impact, mediation, and intervention. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 13(1). Web.

Kumar, M., & Mondal, A. (2018). A study on Internet addiction and its relation to psychopathology and self-esteem among college students. Industrial psychiatry journal, 27(1), 61. Web.

Savci, M., & Aysan, F. (2017). Technological addictions and social connectedness: predictor effect of internet addiction, social media addiction, digital game addiction and smartphone addiction on social connectedness. Dusunen Adam: Journal of Psychiatry & Neurological Sciences, 30(3), 202-216. Web.

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Premium Papers. 2023. "Social Media Addiction and Self-Esteem." September 20, 2023.

1. Premium Papers. "Social Media Addiction and Self-Esteem." September 20, 2023.


Premium Papers. "Social Media Addiction and Self-Esteem." September 20, 2023.