The Effects of Social Media on Self-Esteem

Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurities, negative thoughts of ourselves. Where do they come from and why do we all have them? Have these issues always been there and people just didn’t talk about them or are they more prevalent than ever in today’s society, and if so, why? Why do we feel the need to compare our lives to others? And how is it that we somehow compare ourselves based on what we see in a few photos on social media?

I’ve learned a lot about these areas over the past year. I’ve always had self-doubt, low self-esteem and negative thoughts about myself throughout my life. I always thought I was alone in this and that they were just issues I needed to work on, which I do. But, I also realized that I’m not alone!

So many people, like me, have been using social media as a way to somehow gauge how great of a life they have, comparing their lives to others. Who bought a house, who got engaged, who had an adorable new baby, or who got the new amazing job. I thought that I wasn’t enough or had somehow fallen behind in life based on other people reaching their dreams, which is so not true.

Why did I feel self-doubt based on other people having these wonderful amazing positive things happen in their lives? The answer is, because of my own insecurities. I realized that I needed to work on myself and appreciate what I did have, instead of what others had. I needed to be happy with myself to be happy for other people’s success. I needed to stop comparing my life to other people’s lives on social media and start living for me.

I had all of these doubts and insecurities and in all reality, who honestly posts photos of their true everyday lives anyway? Who post any of their 15 re-take selfie photos or posts of their everyday struggles? I know I sure haven’t. I can’t tell you how many selfies it takes me to finally post one that I’m ok with showing people. Honestly, most times, I just end up making a funny face instead.

Realistically, who is honestly going to judge you on the angle of your face in a selfie or how cool your life seems anyways? And if they do, are those the people who make any different in your life? No judgement, believe me I know because I’ve done it, I’ve judged other people and I’m working on it. Social media makes it so easy to get consumed into this idea of who we’re suppose to be. How fit or tan you are, how big of a house you should have, your job title, and the list goes on! It’s so easy to feel under the spotlight in a world full of judgement through social media!

It just makes me wonder though, why do I feel that all of these people are judging me and why do I even care if they are, when they don’t even know me. Even if they are judging me, maybe they knew me at some point in my life but is that who I am today, no it’s not. I’ve learned so much and grown tremendously as a person since I was ten, seventeen or in my early twenties. Just because I have a car, house and husband, does that make me any more or less of a person to others, it shouldn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I love materialistic things, I always have. But, I know they don’t give my life any more value than the next person. Although I enjoy those things, I know they don’t make me any better of a person for having them. It’s about loving yourself and being real with yourself, instead of living your life as a show for others. Do and have what you love, not what you think you should!

Recently, I’ve listened to a few people, through podcasts and social media, explaining that many people only show the side of them that they feel people will like, instead of the person they truly are. By doing this, it leaves you feeling alone and unlikable. If you’re always trying to be someone you’re not, people will never have the opportunity to like who you truly are. Therefore, you end up feeling alone and unlikable since you know deep down that they don’t actually know your real authentic you, so how could they like you? How lonely and exhausting is that anyways, trying to keep up an image of who you think people will like. Again, I know because I’ve done it.

In reality, isn’t it better to embrace the person you are, than living a life of someone you aren’t, in hopes of people liking that version of you. Isn’t it better to show yourself to the world and be real, so when people truly do like you, it feels more fulfilling. They’ll like the real you, instead of some version of you that you’ve created, knowing that it’s not genuine. I love the true me, the version of me that I don’t like, is trying to please other people instead of myself!

A different post I saw they gave an example, think of yourself as a peach, the most juicy peach, the best peach there is. You can be that peach and there will be people out there that LOVE peaches but there will also be people who don’t. It doesn’t matter how juicy and yummy that peach is, those people are still not going to like peaches. That’s just reality! No matter what version of yourself you create or how real you are, there will always be people who aren’t going to like you, that’s just life!

That concept resonated with me so much because well, I’m someone who likes to be liked, I think most people do, right? That’s why social media is so popular. It allow us to share our lives to our friends on Facebook, our followers on Instagram or whichever social media it is, in hopes of getting a ton of likes, follows or whatever. It’s really a status quo, that for many of us, somehow makes us feel more likable or valued.

I’ve put myself down for years comparing myself to those I have on social media. I felt somehow inadequate for not having the perfect job, house, relationship or posting a ton of photos of friends on Facebook because honestly, I don’t have a large group of friends. It takes a lot for me to consider someone a friend. People who don’t talk bad about you when you’re not there, keep in touch with you to see how you are or people you can be real with and not be judged for being you. I’m an introvert so for me to give you my time means a lot to me.

My husband and I don’t party, we don’t go out to bars or drink on a regular basis and we never really have. Many of the friendships I’ve seen are created through those outlets, so I guess we just missed the boat, which is fine! I’m not judging those people or those friendships but my love language (see Learning How to Love) is Quality Time. For me to have a genuine relationships, I need more than a few hours at a bar drinking to feel a real friendship connection. I used to wonder if there was something wrong with me because I didn’t have a large group of friends like I’d see on social media but then I realized, it’s not about the amount of friends you have but the quality of the friendships. I’m always open to meeting new people and creating new friendships as long as they’re genuine.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that true friends are rare and I don’t need to be liked by everyone. I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea or coffee because well, that’s just reality! As long as those who matter most to me in this world like me, like my husband, my family and my few true good friends, that’s enough! As the famous phrase goes: I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I’m not!

My goal is to be more real, to show my everyday life, the good and the bad, because I realize that I’m not alone. There are so many people in this world that have had, or are having, the same doubts as me. If showing my truth can help someone else realize theirs, that’s what makes me happy and fulfilled as a person. By helping others feel better about themselves and to not feel alone. Life is complicated and hard, and when you know that you’re not the only one on the path it helps!


Share a photo on social media showing your real life, whatever that might be, using the hashtag: #PursuitofRealLife


#PursuitofRealLife – Writing this post, I’m sitting with no make-up, hair not done, in my sleepwear in my living room on my laptop. I have huge dark circles under my eye’s, as I always do, normally I would NEVER post a photo without make-up but this is me and I’m trying to change my mindset so… I have beautiful blue eyes and a nice white smile. I’m a lot happier in this photo than I have been over the years because I’m working on loving myself in all aspects of my life. The more I can love myself, the more I can give love to others.

Do you have self-doubt or insecurities in your life? What are you doing to overcome them? I’d love to hear!

xoxo- Katie


“I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.” – Kurt Cobain

7 thoughts on “The Effects of Social Media on Self-Esteem

  1. Hi there!

    I loved reading your post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings towards this topic. I struggled with social media and the affects it had on my self-confidence and self-worth. The only way I fixed it was by taking a hiatus from all social media platforms. I think a lot of women struggle with it but I’m sure men do as well. I’d love for you to check out my blog post about it, I’d love to hear you feedback 🙂

    XO, Ashley

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ashley,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m glad I’m not alone in this! Taking a hiatus is a great idea, it’s so easy to get consumed in it. I can’t wait to check out your blog post about it!

      Happy Blogging! 🙂


  2. Hi,

    I am not sure if you will accomplish much using just another hashtag. If you want the change, stop using the social networks (or use them very rare). Buy an old school cell phone and have it with you everytime you can.

    I got rid of smartphone and it really rewires my brain to what it was when we did not have those phones (I am 30).

    Also read about effects of smartphones and social networks on your dopamine receptors..


    1. Thanks for your comment! I have cut down on my social media usage and that seems to have helped a lot. Not sure I could go back to an old school cell phone, I use too many other features on it, but that’s so great that it worked for you! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s