More and more teenagers around the world gain access to the World Wide Web every day. According to some scholars, adolescents see the Internet rather as a place, just like sports sections or other communities, than as a technical tool (Yust 134). The Internet can possess all the community characteristics, like the establishment of close relationships and the performance of specific actions for the benefit of the community. In this paper, the impact of social media and video games on the self-esteem of teenagers will be analyzed.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
It’s no secret that children and adolescents spend their free time playing video games. Surprisingly, gaming can have a positive effect both on the formation of identity and on the well-being of teenagers (Yust 138). Besides, gaming can become an escape from depressing life circumstances. Thereby, various video game stories can help young people in choosing a social role and forming a positive identity while also having a positive effect on their self-esteem. Moreover, network gaming can involve communication with like-minded people who share common ethical, aesthetic, moral, and spiritual values.
Nonetheless, the situation is notably different on social media platforms. Here, just like in video games, teenagers create a virtual image of themselves designed to help them cope with real problems. However, a teenager’s virtual image is created using a building material of ‘likes’ and ‘reposts,’ and already existing virtual images that were developed by certain people or companies with marketing goals (Yust 139).
Teenagers may spend their precious time worrying about their images. Such experiences can negatively affect their self-esteem, especially if we take into account the high level of influence of virtual images of peers on each other (Yust 140). This influence can also affect the self-esteem and the identity formation of those young people who are experiencing emotionally difficult times.
The process of creating a virtual image can cause not only negative reflection but also reflective actions such as overeating. Bevelander et al. note that participants of their study “with higher discrepant or ‘damaged’ self-esteem modeled peer take more when the peer ate nothing or a modest amount” (1). At the same time, adolescents with stable self-esteem did not show such a tendency. Thus, teenagers can overestimate the virtual image of peers as well, which only aggravates the complicated life of youngsters who are having hard times or experiencing an existential crisis.
It is also disturbing that Google, social media, and various corporate structures collect information about Internet users for contextual advertising and marketing purposes. While on the Internet, the user may unintentionally create their “consumer profile” based on what pages they visit and what products they buy (Yust 141). The geographical location, level of income, passport data, credit card data, etc. can also become accessible, even if this information was not listed in social media profiles.
Thus, the influence of social media and video games on the self-esteem of teenagers was analyzed. It can be concluded that social media are more likely to harm the self-esteem of those adolescents who are facing difficult times or have unstable emotions. At the same time, the impact on young people with more stable self-esteem can be neutral. The influence of video games has a more supportive effect on the self-esteem of teenagers, while also allowing them to form a more holistic identity.
100% original paper
on any topic
done in as little as
Bevelander, Anschütz, et al. “The Role of Explicit and Implicit Self-Esteem in Peer Modeling of Palatable Food Intake: A Study on Social Media Interaction among Youngsters.” PLOS ONE, vol. 8, no. 8, 2013, pp. 1-11.
Yust, Karen-Marie. “Digital Power: Exploring the Effects of Social Media on Children’s Spirituality.” International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, vol. 19, no. 2, 2014, pp. 133-143.