Social Media Induced Low-Self-Esteem?
As you are scrolling through your Instagram feed you notice yet again, a well-known public figure. As far as your eyes can see, it appears this person is living a fabulous, pristine life. Each post screams, they are living their best life, and their two thousand subscribers also agree. You can’t help but to read the comments such as #makeuponfleek, #couplegoals, #bodygoals, #travelgoals. This just confirms your preconceived perception- This person is perfect!
Then all of a sudden, negative thoughts start to flood your mind:
“I am so broke, I will never get to go to those types places.”
“I am not pretty enough, I will never have a boyfriend that cute.”
“I am so fat, my body will never look like that.”
Social media platforms have a tendency to impact our self-esteem. If we are not too careful, we could easily find ourselves self-loathing, as we compare our self-worth to someone’s IG post. Each social media platform has a different purpose but the common thread with each platform is that they all have the capability for us to share our life with others. Knowing that our lives will be judged and scrutinized, we aren’t quick to show their lowlight reel; only the good. It is this picture-perfect image that we fall victim to; putting ourselves at-risk of having social media induced low self esteem.”
Why are we not satisfied with ourselves?
Why do we compare ourselves to others on social media?
What will it take for us to accept ourselves and not find our self-worth in others?
In this article I hope to address these questions, and help you gain a better appreciation for yourself and build your self-esteem on the Lord, not on likes.
WHY ARE WE NOT SATISFIED WITH OURSELVES?
In this social media crazed society, dissatisfaction with who you are, stems from feelings of discontentment. Discontentment has a way of making you feel less than or not good enough. When you buy into that lie, you subconsciously fall in the trap of self-doubt.
No matter what material items a person has, what exotic trips they’ve taken, or what they look like, your self-worth should not be measured by someone else IG. Your contentment in who you are should come from Christ alone. The only opinion that matters is the Lord’s. His love is better than any likes on any given day.
I would encourage you to recite these scriptures if at anytime you start to doubt your self-worth:
“For you are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” -Ephesians 2:10
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” -Psalms 139:14
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” –Songs of Solomon 4:7
If you ever find yourself feeling discontent or not good enough after looking at someone else’s IG post, along with the biblical scriptures listed, here are some practical tools for you to implement as well.
- Memorize one of those scriptures listed above.
- Take a break from social media. I recommended taking a break once a month just to focus on yourself.
- Spend time with the Lord. Take at least 15-30 minutes of time each day to the Lord, and ask God to fill your heart and mind with His love.
- Write down 10 things that you like about yourself that is not physical (i.e. good personality, giving person). Get some index cards and post them in areas around your home as reminders to yourself.
- Journal. Take some time to self-reflect and exam yourself from an internal perspective
- Get a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. On side of the paper write down the areas in your life in which you are discontent (weight, finances, singleness). On the other side of the paper, identify what you can do to change that specific area. (i.e. I am not pleased with my weight, I can start eating healthier)
WHY DO WE COMPARE OURSELVES TO OTHERS?
Comparison is the thief of joy. When you start to compare yourself to another person IG post, or how many likes or subscribers they have compared to yours, you allow that to rob your joy. The reason why we compare is because we tend to look for a standard to measure or define success. This many social media likes + this many trip + these many subscribers = success, right? Wrong! Success is not a formula, and it most certainly is not contingent on how many likes and subscribers you have. You cannot be content and have real joy when you are trying to reach an unattainable standard of success based off of comparing your life to others. There is always going to be someone smarter, taller, or prettier than you. True contentment comes from loving who you are from the inside out. Again, I highly encourage you to use the six practical tools above to help you do the internal work needed to find your self-esteem in Christ and not in social media.
WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR US TO ACCEPT OURSELVES AND NOT FIND OUT SELF-WORTH IN OTHERS?
The answer to that is simple: it will take us taking God’s word as truth. Like really believing it. It’s easy to quote a scripture and have that be the end of it. We have to take it even deeper than that by actually hiding God’s word in your heart. Meditate on it, memorize it, and recite while you pray. You may start off by referring to those scriptures listed above but you may also venture to find other scriptures. Once you truly understand how much God loves and accepts you, you will slowly start to see that you can start to accept yourself no matter where you fall in the social media hierarchy of popularity and importance.