By Benjamin Fearnow
Facebook and other social media websites help billions of people express themselves for the world to see, but these online platforms have now taken on a deeper meaning – people are using it to define themselves.
New research published in the journal Social Influence analyzes how Facebook communication has affected people’s feelings of their own social value and self-esteem. The study finds that the more Facebook likes and comments that a person receives, the more likely they are to feel positive about themselves. On the other hand, the fewer likes and comments responding to a person’s status reflected feelings of loneliness and low self-worth.
In the first part of the Facebook study, “Threats to Belonging on Facebook: lurking and ostracism,” conducted among 79 undergraduate students from the University of Queensland, participants were either allowed or not allowed to share information on Facebook for 48 hours.