The Relationship Between Self-Esteem and Attitude Towards Social Media Addiction Among Undergraduate Students

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Social media is a platform which allows one to engage with users in digital environments, both professionally and socially. As the technologies developed, the consumption of these digital platforms increased dramatically particularly with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

The continuous development of technologies and social media leads to the issue of social media addiction especially among undergraduate students whereby they are using more than one social media account on everyday basis for three to six hours. It is a serious issue to be analysed since the quality and quantity of their social interactions are disturbed. Besides, not protecting privacy issues on social media despite being aware of the risk is also something to be pondered about.

Self-esteem is one of the utmost factors in influencing social media addiction among university students. Studies show that students with low self-esteem tend to get addicted to social media easily compared to high self-esteem students. This is likely due to their nature of shyness, introvert, social anxiety and less confidence. 

These students will utilise the social media platform to stand out and show their real emotions which they failed to deliver during their daily face-to-face conversations. Getting recognition from virtual friends in return do encourage them to spend more time on social media platforms. Unlike high self-esteem students, these students feel that their self-worth was more valuable in social media and as a result, they end up using social media frequently which leads to social media addiction.

Besides, the attitude of the university students also has a potential to influence social media addiction to occur. As the development of technology and social media occurs, the students start to feel pressure to meet social expectations and keep themselves up to date. This pressure can be associated with “the fear of missing out”. 

They are suffering anxiety for not using social media as they are afraid of being excluded from social events, updates of news and important status. For instance, a university student constantly pushes herself to keep actively engaged on social media since she feels fear of being left out throughout the examination. They even alter and shape their personality in order to fit in the “trendy” and “cool” social community.

The low self-esteem students shall work on increasing their self-esteem level by spending more time with their loved ones. By doing such, they will have a constant reminder that traditional interactions are more beautiful compared to gaining followers on virtual platforms. Besides, by having a real and positive relationship with human beings, the student’s selfacceptance will also increase whereby they could rationalise and accept the diverse range of bodies and beauties as their own uniqueness instead of believing in filters used in social media to define beauty.

As student’s attitude does influence social media addiction, forming a positive attitude via parents, friends and society towards social media is important. One can’t deny that parents and peers are the most influential people in forming a person’s attitude. For instance, if the parents are spending more time on social media instead of having face-toface communication with the children or the peers who encourage negative online activities, then, the students tend to believe that such acts are acceptable and follow their respective attitudes.

Therefore, the parents should monitor and educate their children to use social media wisely. A proper guidance from the parents will help them to self-control from having a negative attitude, misusing and getting addicted to social media. No doubt that social media is exploiting human vulnerability by making us addicted to it. However, we could not question the importance of social media since it has been a reason for us to move forward when the whole world has stopped operating due to pandemic. 

By way of illustration, I will refer to coins whereby as there is a flip side of a coin, usage of social media may lead to addiction despite having various benefits. Since it has a pure addiction, it is the responsibility of every individual to use social media wisely without getting addicted to it. This can be done easily with a good level of self-esteem and attitude in using social media. Let’s disconnect social media to connect with real human beings.

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