Free Does Facebook Enhance The Perception Of Self-Worth? Article Review Sample
Type of paper: Article Review
Topic: Facebook, Affirmation, Sociology, Self-Worth, People, Friendship, Disclosure, Internet
This paper encircles the proposed role of Facebook in enhancing the perception of self-worth. Moreover, it is discussed that what kind of effect can be monitored over the self-integrity of the people using social network sites (SNS’s). The impact of the Facebook in terms of the self-affirmation theory is comprehensively discussed in the context of research conducted in this regard. It is being argued that Facebook provides its users with an opportunity to present them in a desired manner and portray their different aspects of life. People love to display their positive aspects, which acts as the basic and appealing factor for using these SNS’s. Facebook interconnects people with their friends and families, allowing them to strengthen their social ties. Self-affirmation is a desire, and its fulfillment is gained through disclosure of personal information and receiving opinions about the self-worth. The need of self-presentation compels to the exercise of such Social network sites. Moreover, the factor of social connectivity with the friends and associates makes Facebook an ideal tool to project oneself in a positive and desirable manner. The several of Facebook friend list buddies and the self-presentation are strongly connected with the prejudiced comfort. The friendship through social network sites like Facebook provides a considerable social support, which can enhance the self-worth of a person.
Social Network Sites have gained unprecedented followership during this age of the internet and global interaction through Social media. Facebook, for example, offers its services to more than one billion users who spare almost one hour a day and indulge into various social activities. There is no specified age group and apart from teenagers, adults of age 50 or above are its regular users. Hence, a question arises here that what are the possible reasons that compel such a huge number of people to interact with social media especially Facebook. One view is that the factors of expressing one's feelings, emotions and spend some time with like-minded people make such social networks more appealing to the masses. Research conducted in this regard has revealed some motivations for using SNS’s that include building relationships, sharing thoughts and most enjoyable moments in one’s life. However, there is another perspective, which relates to the ego needs, serving as a compelling element to use such sites.
The article written by Catalina L. Toma and Jaffrey T. Hancock “Self-Affirmation Underlines Facebook Use” has discussed Self-Affirmation theory (Steele, 1998) as a basic tool to discuss imperative aspects of appealing factor linked with SNS’s. In this article, it is being argued that SNS’s allow its users to carve their self-presentation by revealing core aspects of their life. Moreover, it promotes social relationship with their family, friends and satisfy their ego needs related with self-projection. Facebook remained the focus of this article while discussing its motivated use as the most popular SNS. The primary concept of self-affirmation theory revolves around the fact that people are in need of being portrayed as the worthy, valuable and good part of the society.
This fundamental desire or requirement to highlight one’s positive image is considered as the most influential and appealing factor that motivates a person to use Facebook. Self-affirmation is termed as the viable strategy to fulfill such need of self-worth, which brings into limelight the primary aspects of self-concept including relationship, values, and personal characteristics. Another pivotal aspect of self-affirmation theory is associated with the fact that it reduces or terminates the individual’s ability to engage in a defensive processes like distortion or dismissal. It is so because the individual’s sense of self-worth and integrity is secured by self-affirmation while rendering as unnecessary other defense mechanisms.
Taking about the application of self-affirmation theory on Facebook, there are certain key factors that relate both of them in a precise manner. First of all it is to be summarized that how actually people interact through Facebook or how this site facilitates such people to satisfy their ego need. This specific social network site operates by interconnecting its users with their friends, family and those with whom they are interested to build a relationship. They create a comprehensive profile mentioning their routine activities, job, and interests and then enter into a friendly relationship with other users. The basic theme of this SNS is to publically share one’s self-worth and good image. This particular part gravitates the users, with a view to project their perception about self-integrity and provide a viable vehicle to fulfill their desire of self-affirmation. The self-presentation through Facebook involves the defining of social aspects of a person encapsulating his /her association with an educational institute, the particular company, political affiliation and other relative fields. In other words, the Facebook profile holds the tendency to provide its users with the benefits of self-affirmation since it projects a socially connected and flattering self-image.
The element of social connectivity with family and friends is regarded as the most common reason for using Facebook as a tool for self-affirmation. A study has revealed that about 84% of the information displayed on Facebook profile is highly personal including date of birth, sexual and political orientation and other similar things. It is also expressed in a survey that this kind of personal information is the necessary ingredient for the popularity of such SNS. Apart from this, such profile provides a way to display a desirable and positive self-projection. The users give a best makeup to their profile to secure a distinctive position among others, as their profile is always open to scrutiny by a large number of audiences. In addition, the ability to edit or delete the derogatory comments of friends provides a viable mean to maintain a highly desirable self-presentation. As mentioned earlier, the SNS’s provide a platform for projecting the self and its domains that are necessary for self-worth. They allow testing the theory of self-affirmation on new and extended horizons. Most important factor about these profiles is their accuracy of the information.
People don't normally lie if they are aware that there are noticeable chances of being caught. Similarly, users of Facebook are under the observations of their friends who know them both as online as well offline persons. Hence, they try to include most reliable and trustworthy information regarding them and ensure a respectable online existence. It has been revealed in a research that people associated with online dating present them honestly if their acquaintances and friends are provided access to their profiles. Hence, one can say that Facebook profiles are the reliable and trustworthy personal judgments.
Junghyun Kim and Jong-Eun Roselyn Lee in their article "The Facebook Paths to Happiness: Effects of the Number of Facebook friends and Self-Presentation on Subjective well-being" have discussed the positive effect of the Facebook. The findings of their study have revealed that the number of Facebook friends and self-projection is closely linked with the subjective well-being. However, the basic mechanism to acquire such benefits is related to the perceived social support associated with the Facebook friends. It reminds the users about their social life and, as a result, provides an affirmation of self-worth. Friendship between two persons may take the shape of different commitments, revolving around personalized interests in the perception of other people. The friendship via Facebook may serve as a perfect social support. Natalya N. Bazarova and Yoon Hyun Choi have studied self-Disclosure in their article “Self-Disclosure in Social Media: extending the Functional Approach to Disclosure Motivations and Characteristics on Social Network Sites”.
According to their research, the introduction of social media technologies has opened new corridor and endless possibilities to disclose personal information. Through these SNS’s millions of people share their personal details on a daily basis. These may include their personal feelings, opinions about daily life and their future planning. This kind of information is shared online without taking into consideration the fact that it may be disclosed to a large number of audiences including people associated with diverse and multiple cultures. Their study has discussed that what leads to the disclosure of personal information in social media and whether there is any control over this activity of sharing one’s personal details.
The public self-discloser through SNS shows the contradiction with the conventional perception of self-disclosure in relation to dyadic exchanges. This difference may arise from the challenges of managing the disclosure and the audience of the social media, which gives a new meaning to the idea of self-disclosure. Derlga and Grzelak had proposed a functionality theory to understand the kinds of achievements and goals that is fulfilled by disclosure of personal details during an inter-personal relationship. “If we wish to understand and predict individual's self-disclosing behavior, we must identify and measure the major source of value that self-disclosure has for individuals.” (Derlga and Grzelak. “Appropriateness of self-disclosure”.1979). The advancement in technology has broadened the chances of self-broadcasting and entering into a relationship with others through these social network sites. D.K Sherman expressed his views in his article "Self-Affirmation: Understanding the effects" in the following words. "The proposition that affirmation boosts the self-resources has wide ranging implications for outcomes such as health behaviors where the short-term desire to eat, drink, or smoke can overwhelm the longer term health goals." Another proposition according to Sherman is related to the theory that affirmation widens the scope of persecution through which people view the information and events linked with their lives. Affirmation provides assistance for people to calibrate to a specific and appropriate stage of the threat. It is based on the risk factors of every individual as the person having high risk may ascertain it from the information, however, those with low risk are not alarmed in the same fashion. During extensive studies regarding the role of self-affirmation, it was found that affirmation counteracted the ego-depletion induced in laboratory. This suggests that affirmation can boost the self-worth or self-integrity. The perspective, which is induced by the affirmation, may come up with the ability to perceive events at higher level.
The study conducted by Catalina L. Toma and Jaffrey T. Hancock for article “Self-Affirmation Underlines Facebook Use”, explains that whether a specific activity might be termed as self-affirming. It also throws light on the theoretical claim that self-affirmation eliminates the defensive responses by satisfying the requirement of self-integrity and self-worth. It was found as a result of this study that which used their Facebook for 5 minutes acted in a responsible way and didn’t blame others for passing negative views about them. This specific non-defensive behavior towards an ego threat is basically the important factor of self-affirmation and gives essential evidence that exposure to Facebook profile enhances the self-integrity and self-worth. Hence, it may be stated in light of these findings that using Facebook may turn out to be a source to fulfill one’s ego needs. Moreover, Facebook increases the perception of self-worth by exhibiting one’s self in a successful and attractive way along with the presence of a relationship that is meaningful in all respects. The research conducted for this article has shown that Facebook profile provides an opportunity to constitute an outlet for self-affirmation. Several pieces of supported evidences were provided in to declare such a profile as self-affirming. The article is concluded by saying that present day life is under a constant ego-threat including trivial or consequential. These issues are common and unavoidable and draw our attention towards the fact that how an individual survives or maintains a self-worth. The Facebook, a free to join SNS is capable of repairing the damage caused to one’s self-worth and improves the ability to handle such ego-threats. The access to a source of self-affirmation like Facebook plays its role as a useful instrument regarding the efforts of an individual to safeguard his/her self-integrity and self-worth.
Toma, C.L & Bazarova N.N, &. C. (2014). Self-Disclosure in Social Media: Extending the Functional Approach to Disclosure Motivation and Characteristics on Social Network Sites.Journal of communication,64(4),635-657.Toma, C.L.,& hancock,J.T(2013).Self-Affirmation Underlies Facebook Use.
J.Kim & Lee, J. (2011). The Facebook Paths to Happiness: Effects of the Number.Cyberpsychology, behavior, and social networking, 14(6),359-364.
Sherman, D. (2013). Self-Affirmation: Understanding the Effects.Social and PersonalityPsychology Compass,7(11), 843-845.
Toma C.L & T.J, H. (2013). Self-Affirmation Underlies Facebook Use. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 39(3).321-331.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1177/0146167212474694.
Toma, C. (2013). Feeling better but doing worse: Effects of Facebook self-presentation on implicit self-esteem and cognitive task performance.Media Psychology,16(2),199-220.