The relationship between social media usage, self-esteem and body image.
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This study investigates the influence of a sample of social media platforms on a person’s self-esteem and body image. The chosen Platforms were Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Seventy-one volunteers, 51 females and 20 males, aged between 18 and 24 were surveyed. For this target group these platforms have become a powerful influencer of socio-cultural values especially with regards to appearance. This has led to body ideal expectations for both males and females. In vulnerable young adults, this may cause low self-esteem and negative body image and in extreme cases serious illnesses such as eating disorders. A quantitative non-experimental correlational design was used. Participants completed a survey online comprising three questionnaires: A social media usage questionnaire designed by the researcher, the Rosenberg self-esteem scale (Rosenberg 1965) and a body image questionnaire (Maynard 2009). Additionally, the survey included a demographic question to assess the differences between gender. Data gathered from the questionnaires were analysed using Pearson’s correlation coefficient and multiple regression through SPSS. Contrary to the hypothesis no relationship was found between time spent on social media and self-esteem. However, there was a slight negative relationship with body image. Males were found to have lower self-esteem than females and females a more negative body image than males. Finally, there was a relationship between the unexamined variable (Importance rating) and body image for both Twitter and Instagram, but none for Facebook or self-esteem.
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