I have been seeing many conflicting studies saying that facebook usage increases or decreases self-esteem.

  • What is the current consensus regarding the effect of facebook usage on self-esteem?
  • Has there been a meta-analysis?

I can see that looking at facebook would make one compare himself to another (upward comparison). This could induce jealousy. Likewise, seeing your own facebook profile reaffirms who you are. This would increase self esteem.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ not a duplicate, but see this related question on the effect of social media on social skills $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 4:40
  • $\begingroup$ @guest43434: Of course. Since it is all based on pictures, I would imagine more photogenic people will get a self-esteem boost and less photogenic will get less. I got no scientific proof but it is obviously human nature likes to compare to others...and with social media we have a lot more to compare with. Especially among youth where image is everything, I really worry about the effects there.... $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 6:02
  • $\begingroup$ also depends if you view your self as photogenic or not.... $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 18, 2014 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


In general social media is a positive inlet for self-esteem development. As people "like" the things you like your identity is reaffirmed. However if someone friend's the wrong people or uses it as a comparison engine it can become degrading to self-esteem. It should be noted that teenagers are trending away from traditional social networking moving to things like SnapChat.

The aim of this study was to investigate the consequences of friend networking sites (e.g., Friendster, MySpace) for adolescents' self-esteem and well-being. We conducted a survey among 881 adolescents (10–19-year-olds) who had an online profile on a Dutch friend networking site. Using structural equation modeling, we found that the frequency with which adolescents used the site had an indirect effect on their social self-esteem and well-being. The use of the friend networking site stimulated the number of relationships formed on the site, the frequency with which adolescents received feedback on their profiles, and the tone (i.e., positive vs. negative) of this feedback. Positive feedback on the profiles enhanced adolescents' social self-esteem and well-being, whereas negative feedback decreased their selfesteem and well-being.

-Friend Networking Sites and Their Relationship to Adolescents' Well-Being and Social Self-Esteem

This study assessed motives for social network site (SNS) use, group belonging, collective self-esteem, and gender effects among older adolescents. Communication with peer group members was the most important motivation for SNS use. Participants high in positive collective self-esteem were strongly motivated to communicate with peer group via SNS. Females were more likely to report high positive collective self-esteem, greater overall use, and SNS use to communicate with peers. Females also posted higher means for group-in-self, passing time, and entertainment. Negative collective self-esteem correlated with social compensation, suggesting that those who felt negatively about their social group used SNS as an alternative to communicating with other group members. Males were more likely than females to report negative collective self-esteem and SNS use for social compensation and social identity gratifications.

-Older Adolescents' Motivations for Social Network Site Use: The Influence of Gender, Group Identity, and Collective Self-Esteem


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.