How The Internet And Electronic Environment Influence One's Self-Concept? Research Papers Example

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Media, Internet, Family, Education, Children, Concept, Television, Study

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2021/01/02

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Forewords

One's self-concept defines a lot of things about him. It defines the way he does things, see others and even academic and social performance. This and many more are the reasons why self-esteem or self-concept is very important. Self-awareness before and even after the advent of the internet can primarily be evoked with the mirror. However, Gonzales and Hancock identified that such self-awareness usually leads to self-esteem. Thus, during the early days of the internet and social networking, it was believed that the internet would also result to negative self-esteem but several studies have proved this to be wrong.(Gonzales and Hancock, 79-83). Their study particularly pinpointed two theories used in predicting the self-esteem of a person, and these include the Objective Self-Awareness (OSA) and the Hyperpersonal Model. The study conducted with these models showed that exposure to a social network such as Facebook will have more positive effect on self-esteem than a control condition. Moreover, the study pointed out that participants who view only their social media profiles will have more self-esteem than those who also view others' profiles.

The Electronic Environment and its impacts

The electronic environment includes everything from radio and television to the internet. Robert et al. pointed out the impacts of the electronic environment in the society. In early days of electronics during period of 1930s, radio system was observed as an amazing way of disseminating information because the information gets to thousands of people in a split second. Up to 63 percent of U.S homes had a radio, pointing out the significant impact of the electronic medium. However, much more remarkable impact was made by the TV just a few years after. Robert et al. further added that companies pay huge amounts of money to buy “advertising time” but in the actual sense what they buy is access to the audience. Other media came on the scene with more advancement in technology. These even extended to the computer system, the internet, smartphones, tablets and so forth (Robert et. al., 394-408).
However, one of the aspects of the media often overlooked is the effect that it has on the population. The electronic environment serves a lot of positive ends such as entertainments, information, gaming and so forth, but they also have some significant psychological impacts on one's self-concept. Lang mentioned that self-presentation through non-mediated, face-to-face platforms including online platforms such as blogs, homepages, social network sites and so forth can change a person's self-concept. Furthermore, the report pointed out that several factors control the impacts of online self-presentation on the self-concept. These factors are grouped into two three types which include system factors, online community factors, and user factors. The factors include identifiability, restrictiveness, size, importance, self-monitoring and the clarity of self-concept (Lang).
Johnson identified the psychological effects of the internet on school children and according to the report, the internet has significant effects on children's self-esteem. The report stated that children who use the internet develop cognitively and socially more than children who do not use the internet. In other words, children who use the internet achieve a global developmental superiority than those who do not have access to the internet. This significantly impacts upon their self-concepts. Based on the findings revealed by the report, it is imperative to consider that children who use the internet develop a better self-concept. They develop self-image, self-esteem, and self-perception than children who do not use the internet. This is obviously the distinction between children in western countries and those in tropical countries (Johnson, 48-53).

Viewing time, gender, and racial factors

Recent studies have pointed out that many factors such as the amount of time devoted to viewing television, gender and also race have a significant effect on self-esteem in the United States. A research conducted by Nicole Martins and Kristen Harrison in Indiana University revealed that black children spend extra 10 hours per week watching television, and this has a significant effect on their self-esteem. (Study Finds TV Can,). Among black girls and boys, watching television programs impacts negatively on black girls and boys because children cannot help but compare themselves with what they see on television programs. These programs tell a lot of negative things about black boys and girls. Similarly, watching television also has a negative impact on white girls, but the study reveals that it has a positive impact on white boys. This study conducted with 400 black and white boys shows interesting results.
Similarly, Henry et al. pointed out the considerable effect of media education on children and adolescents. They pointed out that young people ought to acquire some set of skills and cultural abilities in order to participate appropriately in the societal culture. These skills include performance, play, simulation, multitasking, appropriation, distribution cognition, collective intelligence, negotiation, networking, transmedia navigation and so forth. The study stressed the relevance of media literacy training during school days and also after school. Such training, the study outlined, will help students to apprehend how the media alters and modifies their views of the world, experiences, and even their self-concept. Further, parents have vital roles to play in helping children make the most of the media in reshaping their experiences and framing their world (Henry et. al. 385-393). However, the major problem as pointed out by Henry et al. is associated with adults that are often apprehensive of new forms of media.This is because that are not part of their childhoods because they think that such media might have a negative effect on the under-aged. However, it makes no sense to constrain children's choices of media for risk. As Henry et al. pointed out that opportunities and risks go hand in hand. The best plan of action would be to teach youths and help them gain mastery of the skills needed to avoid disasters and make the most of opportunities.
More so, Subervi-Velez and Necochea identified the impacts of television viewing on Hispanic American children's self-concept. The study revealed that factors such as the number of hours per week and the number of Spanish-language programs watched go a long way to determining the self-concept of the children.They took into account the study using 117 Hispanic American children as a point of focus. The study pointed out that watching TV programs other than Spanish language television programs tend to affect the self-concept of these children negatively. Furthermore, the study revealed that the kind of TV program watched by Hispanic American children influences their psychological development in a remarkable way (Subervi-Velez and Necochea, 315-329).
Quite remarkably, television viewing and the media in general influences children’s socialization. It facilitates them to become aware of their racial peculiarity and racial awareness, in general, form a unique self-concept, as well as ethnic identity. Children react to what they watch on television, the internet and other media, therefore, it can be shown that this goes a long way to affect their self-definition and how they see themselves. It is imperative to consider that this does not only relate to children but also the same can be said about adults. Subervi-Velez and Necochea also identified that minority characters such as Hispanics are usually excluded from English-language television programs. Consequently, this invariably has some negative effects on children's self-concept since it does not give any positive hope or prospect to their existence. Similarly, the study pointed out that a similar effect is evident on African Americans. The study revealed that the relationship between their television viewing and self-concept is positive but weak (Subervi-Velez and Necochea, 315-329).

Communications over the Internet and Self-Concept

No doubts, several factors affect and influence self-concept. Such factors include the amount of time dedicated to a given electronic environment. Such electronic environment could be the internet, radio, television and so forth. Some other factors that might affect one's self-concept include the kind of communication one engages in over the electronic environment and even the environment itself. One remarkable thing with the self-concept is that it can be learned and unlearned, amended over time with the absorption of new information about oneself (Livsey).
In addition, the study identified some pros and cons regarding users of social networking services that affect the self-concept either positively or negatively. For instance, some youths use the internet to engage in sexual activities and for impersonation. The outburst of porn sites on the internet even makes this worse as children do not need to take permission from their parents before visiting these sites. Even though they derive momentary emotional pleasure and satisfaction, such activities affect them because it leads to addiction and invariably has a strong negative effect on the self-concept. Similarly, the use of the internet for some other activities such as self-comparison, judgments and cyber-bullying affects the self-concept of adolescents.
Youths can get involved in some positive interactions, associations and activities over the internet and in other electronic environments that would boost their self-esteem. Social networking sites can be effectively used in reinforcing social relationships, strengthening of youth's identity and in self-expression. Livsey also reported that social networking sites give youth some sense of belongingness which put long-term impact positively on their self-concepts. Another positive kind of communication in which youths should engage in over the internet is discussion of academic and school issues, assignments, make good social connections, connect with teachers and so forth. The internet provides teenagers and youths a place to express themselves and frequently, adults are anxious that such expressions and associations might have negative effects on them. However, Henry et al. made it clear that the only way to help youths make the most of their opportunities is not by restricting them from using their choice media. This is art of teaching them how to make the most of the opportunities and at the same time avoid the potential disasters ubiquitous online and in other electronic environments (Henry et. al. 385-393).

Conclusion

One of the prime significances why the study of the electronic environment and self-esteem is important because an average youth in the 21st century today spends a significant amount of time over the internet and in other electronic environments. This paper delineates at the positive and negative influences of the internet and electronic environment on one's self-concept. Literature showed that the effect of the internet on self-concept could be positive or negative, and this depends on a number of factors. It includes the kind of communication over the internet or electronic environment, association, amount of time devoted to the environment and so forth.

Work Cited

Gonzales, Amy L., and Jeffrey T. Hancock. 'Mirror: Mirror on My Facebook Wall-- Effects of Exposure to Facebook on Self-Esteem.' Cyber-psychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 14.1-2 (2011): 79-83.
Henry, Jenkins et al. "A Systematic Approach to Media Education." Trans. Array Dreams and Inward Journeys. . 8th. New York: Harper & Row, 1990. 385-393. Print.
Johnson, Genevieve Marie. 'Self-Esteem and Use of the Internet among Young School-Age Children'. IJPS 3.2 (2011): pp. 48-53.Print.
Lang, Guido. 'Think Twice Before You Post: The Impact Of Online Self-Presentation On The Self-Concept.' SSRN Journal (2012): n. pag. Web. 27 Mar. 2015. <http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2122809>.
Livsey, Brianna Kathleen. 'Self-Concept and Online Social Networking in Young Adolescents: Implications for School Counselors.' M.A. The University of Texas at Austin, 2013. Print.
Mona, How TV Can Affect Children Self-Esteem. 2012. Web. 27 Mar. 2015. <www.bps.org.uk/news/how-tv-can-affect-childrens-self-esteem>.
Robert, Walker.et. al. "Pop Dreams." Trans. Array Dreams and Inward Journeys. . 8th. New York: Harper & Row, 1990. 394-408. Print.
'Study Finds TV Can Decrease Self-Esteem in Children, Except White Boys: IU News Room: Indiana University.' N.p., 2012. Web. 27 Mar. 2015 < http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news-archive/22445.html>
Subervi-Velez, Federico A., and Juan Necochea. 'Television Viewing And Self-Concept Among Hispanic American Children" A Pilot Study.' Howard Journal of Communications 2.3 (1990): 315-329. Web.

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