For many people,social media is a positive way to keep in touch with friends and family, get information, be entertained, and express themselves.

Cell phone and animated bull horn with icons for likes, email, wifi, and email

While getting lots of likes can make you feel great about yourself, does scrolling through posts ever make you feel down or anxious?

If you're experiencing some of social media's negative effects on your self-esteem, you'll need to find the right coping strategies to help you manage these feelings.

How Does Social Media Affect Self-Esteem?

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Being part of a group on social media can help you feel included and accepted.

But sometimes it's hard not to compare yourself and your own life to others.

Rihanna talking about Beyonce

Some ways that social media can negatively impact self-esteem:

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Comparing your own life to others can cause feelings of inadequacy or dissatisfaction.

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FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. This can cause anxiety and may even lead you to spend more time on social media.

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Comparing yourself to social media photos that are often edited to create the perfect look can contribute to a negative body image.

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Cyberbullying. 10% of teens report being victims of cyber bullies.Their malicious comments can increase anxiety and depression.

What Can You Do?

What you see on social media is not the whole picture — most people only post things that show them at their best.

La Demi, an influencer, nodding their head. Text reads media is not reality. It’s a smoke screen that hides real life, a carefully curated highlight reel that encourages envy and self-doubt while also masking the insecurities and self-doubt of the original poster.

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If you think social media is having a negative effect on your self-esteem and mental health, here are a few things that you can do:

  • Spend less time on social media or take a break

  • Unfollow or unlike accounts that make you feel bad

  • Do other things you enjoy: read, exercise, watch TV, or try something new

  • Spend time with friends or family in real life

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Give it a Try

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Your notice your friend, Harry, seems depressed recently.

He's been making negative comments about himself. He’s also spending a lot of time on social media and you’re worried that this may be affecting his self-esteem. What can you do to help?

Flaticon Icon A. Ask him to join you for a bike ride or a hike

Flaticon Icon B. Ask him to follow you on a new social media site you joined

Flaticon Icon C. Cheer him up by telling him about the fabulous vacation you just had

Flaticon Icon D. Ask him if he wants to talk about how he feels


What can you do to help Harry? Choose all that apply.

Take Action

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If social media is starting to impact the way you feel about yourself:


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