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Social media can be described as social applications relating to websites, content communities, social networking sites, video games and virtual social worlds (Griffiths, 2017). Social media participation has increased on social networking sites (Smith and Anderson, 2018) as a way for people to interact and communicate with each other (Pantic, 2014). In many cases, technologies (e.g., cell phones) are used primarily for social media purposes. For example, 92% of teens report going online daily via cell phone (Teen Cell Phone Addiction Treatment, 2018). When participating on social media sites, people have the opportunity to judge others as well as themselves. The current study focused on social media (e.g., websites and smartphone applications) in relation to self-esteem. A correlational design was utilized and the variables of interest were social media experiences (i.e., positive or negative), technology usage, and self-esteem. Seventy-eight participants between the ages of 18 and 43 responded to two questionnaires (i.e., Technology Usage & Social Media Interaction Questionnaire and the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale). Based on previous findings (e.g., Lup, Trub and Rosenthal, 2015), it was hypothesized that individuals with more negative experiences on social media will have lower self-esteem. Results showed a correlation between self-esteem and negative experiences on social media. Participants with more negative experiences had a lower self-esteem score. In addition, younger participants had higher cell phone usage. Moreover, negative emotional experiences on social media were related to gender; females were likely to have more negative social media experiences. Our findings indicate possible negative consequences to psychological well-being (i.e., self-esteem) in using technology especially when participating on social media. Future research should focus on ways to decrease these negative consequences.


Social Media, Self-esteem, Cell Phone, Psychological Well-being, Positive Experiences, Negative Experiences.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3104

  • Event date
    • 3 November 2018

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022