Facebook: Good or Bad for Self Esteem?

I was recently interviewed for this story in the Philadelphia Inquirer about whether and how Facebook use affects self esteem.  The cool thing about the article was that it was written by a high school student.  And while I think of myself as young, and try so hard to be cool and relevant; I just can’t keep up with a teenager in terms of technology and social media and their effects on our psyches.

I’ve written about stress, self esteem and Facebook before, but was interested to read this author’s take on how Facebook use can affect self esteem in teens specifically.  She brought up some points I never would have thought of.  The number of “likes” one receives on posts or pictures, and the number of “friends” one racks up for instance.  As someone who is long past the teen years, I notice other things affecting my self esteem.  Things like friends’ vacation destinations, career accomplishments, and children’s behavior.

Of course Facebook is not all bad.  Connecting with long lost friends and family members is great, and so are the birthday wishes that come through on our timelines.  How does Facebook affect you? What about the teens in your life – does it affect them differently?  Check out the full article below:

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Debate over Facebook's effect on self esteem 04/07/2013

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Debate over Facebook’s effect on self esteem 04/07/2013


Ex-Boyfriends & Facebook

Oh, Facebook.  Who knew I had so much to say about you?  Maybe it’s because you are involved in a large percentage of the conversations I have (inside and outside of my office).  Maybe it’s because I have some deep-seated psychological issues with you stemming from childhood?  I’m not sure.  Regardless, here goes another post…

Perhaps there are a few folks out there who have re-connected with old lovers, boyfriends, and crushes on Facebook and it has turned out great.  But more often, it doesn’t.  What do we really hope to accomplish when we “Friend Request” our old prom date?  Do we want to re-kindle the flame?  Re-hash old times?  Peer into their current life?  Are any of these worth the risk?

And believe me, the risks are many.  Chatting on-line with an old lover can be a slippery slope to other types of, huh-hum, communications.  Whether or not we are currently in a relationship, it is important to be aware of the temptations these on-line interludes pose.  Posting on each others walls, to IM’ing each other during work, to meeting for coffee, to meeting for other “things” can happen more quickly than you might imagine.  The lure of romance and the memory of youth can be difficult things to turn down, particularly if your current relationship has grown predictable and less than steamy.

And what about our emotional health?  How will re-living the glory days serve us?  For some it can be fun and nostalgic.  For others it can be a sad reminder that life didn’t turn out the way we expected.  Even if we are content in our current situations, there is nothing like seeing an old boyfriend on Facebook who lives in a mansion, travels the world, and has a supermodel for a wife to make us feel as if we don’t measure up.  Do any of us really need that?  I sure don’t.

photo by: jfiddler