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The Impact of Social Media and Self-Esteem


effect of social media on self esteem image

When you think about social media and self-esteem, you may be thinking about adolescents and young adults. However, women over 45 are just as affected (if not more affected) by how others perceive them. According to one study on social media effects, just one hour per day on Facebook can lower your self-esteem score by almost six percent. Why? Because we are constantly comparing ourselves to other people. When we see that one of our old “friends” has the perfect husband, a beautiful house, and a wonderful job, while we are on our third marriage, suffering with our millionth horrible job, and living in a cramped apartment, it can be pretty hard on our self-esteem. But we do not realize that many people only post the good stuff because nobody wants to advertise that they are living in their mother’s spare room and working as a dishwasher in a fast food restaurant.

Social Comparison

While comparing yourself and your life to others’ is not a good thing to do in general, it is difficult not to do that on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. The reason is that everyone wants to look good. Right? You do not purposely take a horrible picture of yourself on a bad hair day with no makeup on to use as your profile picture, do you? No, if you are anything like me you will hold your phone above you as far away as you can so you do not have that double chin or so nobody can see your wrinkles. Isn’t that why they made selfie sticks? So, when you get on there and see that all of your friends look young and beautiful, they may have had to take 50 pictures to get that one shot. And it may be from 20 years ago! You are just as beautiful and successful as they are and you are real about it!

Everyone Else Has Perfect Lives

Seriously, comparing yourself to their fantasy world is not realistic. Even if your friends on Facebook and Snapchat are posting pictures of their new car, fancy house, fun vacations, and gorgeous husband and bragging about how much they love their job. Chances are they are just as miserable as the next person but they just do not air that part of their lives. Who wants to advertise what a loser they are? Even if your friends do have great jobs, wonderful husbands, and beautiful homes, who cares? You can have that too if you want it, if you don’t already. If you are unhappy with your job, look for a new one. Don’t like your tiny apartment? Start looking for something better. And for sure, if you are not happy with your husband, either get marriage counseling or get out. Life is too short to stay in a bad relationship.

Talk to Someone

Honestly, if social media sites are making you feel bad about yourself, get off of Facebook and get out in the real world. Make your life what you want it to be. If you are depressed or have a condition such as social anxiety disorder, talk to a professional about it. If you do not have a therapist, you can find someone to talk to online. There are many online psychologists available 24 hours a day, seven days a week that you can talk to without an appointment. And you do not even have to leave your house to do it!

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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