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Instagram Usage And Self-esteem

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The internet is increasingly relevant in the modern technology world as there are more and more users of all ages. With the advancement in technology, people nowadays are able to access various platforms anywhere and anytime. Social media is very important in our life as it brings the world closer to you by reading the news posted on social media and so on. Social media is a platform that allows people to create comments, posts, pictures, or videos and share the content with social networking. According to Jones (2009), social media is the category of online media which is the platform where people are talking, participating, sharing, networking, and bookmarking. However, social media is a very broad term which included variety of media, and therefore this paper will look into social networking, whereby the platform that all users are allowed to construct profile within a confined system, be it public or semi-public, to communicate with other users who are connected to them, and to view and traverse different list of connections made by either themselves or other users (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). For instance, social networking can include Facebook, Instagram or Twitter which people are able to access at their fingertips. By using the social networking, any content that the users wish to share with other users can be uploaded through words, videos, picture and so on.

It is known that there is a lot of networking platform but this study only aims at Instagram. According to Instagram (2018), Instagram is a home for storytelling for everyone from celebrities, news of the days, brands, teens, musicians and anyone with a creative passion. It is important to understand the impact of Instagram usage on teenagers in Malaysia as, according to The Star online (2016), a global research firm, Malaysians are the most active Instagram users in the Asia Pacific. Besides, another research showed that there are 13.74million of Instagram users in Malaysia which is around 56% of the population in Malaysia (Ahmad, 2017).

The widely use of social networking prompts the researchers to investigate the impact of this social networking on its users. Social networking can benefit the users by enabling the users to enjoy the sense of freedom and identity, increase their self-esteem level as well as spreading positivity (Jan, Soomro, & Ahmad, 2017, p.331). However, according to the Royal Society of Public Health [RSPH] (2017), Instagram is reported as the most detrimental to adolescents’’ psychological health. “Social media has been described as more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol, and young people nowadays are no longer to ignore it when talking about the mental health issues”, said the Chief Executive of RSPH. Besides, according to RSPH (2017), there is a relationship between Instagram usage and depression or anxiety, as well as the decline in subjective well-being. This may be due to the Instagram posts that can result in the Instagram users to compare among themselves, on the quality of pictures, lifestyle of other users, and especially the ‘followers’ might cause some influencing. This comparison could reduce one’s self-esteem when someone has a bad evaluation. Therefore, the use of Instagram can lead the users more vulnerable to have some mental health problems and low self-esteem when having a comparison with others.

However, according to Blascovich & Tomaka (1993), self-esteem is defined as an individual’s sense of his or her value worth, and also the extent to which a person values, approves of, appreciates, prizes, or likes him or herself. Self-esteem affect the way people make decisions to a great extent as it serves as a motivational function which either increase or decrease one’s will to take care of oneself and explore one’s full potential (Oswalt, n.d.). For instance, there was a research done by distributing 90000 questionnaires to grades 7-12 students found that self-esteem is helpful in dealing emotional stress in adolescents, which correlates with good grades and confidence in teens, allowing them to go for scholarships and other opportunities (Pickhardt,2010). People with high self-esteem are more confident, motivated to achieve their goal and so on whereas people with low self-esteem will think that they are worthless and not confident in themselves at all. Therefore, self-esteem is an important and crucial factor which can alter one’s decision making that will may lead to significantly difference in one’s life.

To sum up, due to many researchers suggested that Instagram usage would lead to social comparison between users, and thereby decreasing in self-esteem might influence a person’s life significantly, and majority of Malaysians are currently using Instagram, there is a need to understand how Instagram would affect our life. This paper is interested to look into whether there is a relationship between the amount of time spent on Instagram and self-esteem of the users among adolescence in Malaysia. The independent variable in this research will be the amount of time spent on Instagram and the dependent variable will be the self-esteem of Instagram users. Besides, it is hypothesized that there is a relationship between two variables. In this research, the researchers only focus on the adolescents in Malaysia, as it was believed that they have a great time spent on social media.

Research Question

There are a few of the research questions in this paper. Firstly, this research wants to figure out is there a relationship exist between time spent on Instagram and self-esteem of individuals. For example, would the independent variable affect the dependent variable and to what extent of this independent variable, which is time spent on Instagram, affect the self-esteem of the Instagram users. Besides, this research also interested to figure out how does the intensity of Instagram usage impact users’ self-esteem. In other word, how long the time spending on Instagram can impact the users positively or negatively.

Literature review

The trend of using of social networking sites has growing significantly in the past decade. According to Anderson & Jiang (2018), Instagram is one of the fastest growing among the social networking platform. However, since Instagram is considered new, and therefore, there is a need to further investigate the impact of Instagram on users because there are only limited research conducted before. In fact, Instagram is significantly different from other social networking especially Facebook because Instagram is focus on images sharing and this feature had set it apart from other social media that included text-based platform ( DeVries, Moller, Wieringa, Eigenraam & Hamelik, 2017). In addition, according to Johnson & Knobloch-Westerwick (2016), different effects will caused by text-based posts and images-based platform on users’ mood.

Based on our research, the first research question was the is there a relationship between Instagram and self-esteem. The existing literature reported that social media use has the potential to impact social networking platform users. According to Ellison et al (2017), the intensity of social media usage has been correlated with increased level of social capital. Besides, Park & Lee (2014) also reported that the usage of social media can heightened the sense of belonging and life satisfaction among the users. This is because social media can help the users to build the sense of community together. Therefore, the existing reported that social media can heightened the social capital level of the users and in other word, higher self-esteem level. However, only Facebook was focused by the existing literature, as opposed to Instagram, the Image-based platform.

Due to the existing literature suggested that the intensity of usage play an important role in determine the impact on users, the second research was “how does the intensity of Instagram affect the users’ self-esteem level?” According to Ellison et al (2017), intensity is defined as emotional connectedness to social networking site and its integration into individuals’ daily lives. To identify the intensity, a scale called Instagram Identity Scale was created to measure Instagram usage beyond simple measurement of frequency and duration, incorporating emotional connectedness to the site and its integration into individuals’ daily activities. According to Ellison et al (2007), there is an increasing trend in self-esteem level if partner and boding with an online friend, as the user will feel they are part of the community. This statement showed that there is some significant positive impact on the user by the usage intensity on social media. Besides, another research showed that Facebook intensity was correlated with increased levels of sense of social capital among users. According to Putnam (2000), the increasing levels of social capital have been correlated to higher level of self-esteem. Therefore, it is important to know that how does the intensity of Instagram, a image-based platform, affect the users’ self-esteem level.

In summary, the existing literature have reported that the intensity of using social media has the potential to impact the users positively. However, these study only focused on Facebook, which is a text-based platform, as opposed to Instagram, an image-based platform. Therefore, the current study interested to figure out and make a better understanding would Instagram usage affect the users on self-esteem level and how intensely using Instagram may impact the users’ self-esteem.

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Methodology

Due to this research only focus among adolescence, which is defined as an adolescent as any person between ages 10 and 24 by WHO (Csikszentmihalyi, 2020, March 20), unusable data was prevented with the use of random sampling method, whereby only adolescents between age 10 and 24 years old and have an Instagram account will be randomly approached for this research. It is estimate that around 100 participants will be participated in this research.

Firstly, participants will be given information sheet and the researcher will brief the on the research. In order to participate in this research, consent form will be required to sign by the participants and two questionnaires will be given to complete. After that, participants will be interview individually by the researcher. After all tasks are completed, a debriefing sheet will be given and the research come to an end.

The information sheet used in this research is to provide the participants some brief idea in this research, which can also helped them to decide whether to participate in this research. It will consists of the background of the research, the purpose, the requirements of participants and also how the research will be conducted. There are two parts in the questionnaire. The participants need to answer their age and gender in the on top of the questionnaire. In the first part, the participants are required to answer the time spent on Instagram within a week. This data can be found in the “setting” app in their phone. In the second part, a Rosenberg self-esteem scale will be used to measure the self-esteem level of the participants. This scale consists of 10 statements and for each statement, participants are required to tick if they strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree with it. For statements 1, 2, 4, 6 & 7, the options scored 3, 2, 1 and 0 score(s) respectively while for the remaining statements, strongly agree scored 0 scores, agree scored 1 score, disagree scored 2 scores and strongly disagree scored 3 scores. In the second questionnaire, a scale called Instagram Intensity Scale will be used to measure Instagram usage beyond simple measures of frequency and duration, incorporating emotional connectedness to the site and its integration into individuals’ daily activities.

After this, the participants conduct the next section, which is interview. In this section, several questions focused on specific themes such as the purpose of using Instagram, how they affected by the “likes” number and the number of followers physically and emotionally, and question about following someone will be asked. Questions are open-ended question and will be used for grounded theory approach.

The last part will be the debriefing part. In this part, the debriefing sheet stated the purpose of the research, and how different trends of self-esteem score and Instagram usage would affect the relationship between two variables differently. If self-esteem level is affected by time spent on Instagram, is will be reported that there is a relationship between time spent on Instagram and self-esteem level. However, is the self-esteem level score did not alter by time spent on Instagram, then there is no relationship between Instagram usage and self-esteem.

Data collection and data analysis

For the first questionnaire, a Pearson bivariate correlation will be used to analyse the relationship between mean Instagram usage and Rosenberg self-esteem score, the relationship between male Rosenberg self-esteem score and mean Instagram usage in males, and the relationship between female Rosenberg self-esteem score and mean Instagram usage in female.

Grounded theory was used to do the concurrent data collection and data analysis. In the interview section, the whole conversation will be transcript for verification and accuracy purposes. This step play an important role to minimize the error when encoding the data. According to Strauss & Corbin (1990), open coding is a process with identifying, naming, categorizing, and describing the phenomena found in the text. Axial coding is the process of relating codes, through a combination of inductive and deductive thinking (Strauss & Corbin,1990). In this part, causal relationships, and fit things into a basic frame of generic relationships was suggested in grounded theory. Selective coding is defined as the process of one category would be chosen as the main core, and relating that category to others categories (Strauss & Corbin,1990). Once all the data are collected, common themes shared by the participants will be constructed.

Working Thesis

Based on this research, the purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of Instagram usage and self-esteem among adolescence in Malaysia. The study will expect to give the result according to the literature review and reveal the best solution on how can the independent variable, which is time spent on Instagram, affect the dependent variable, which is self-esteem level. As mentioned in the literature review section, the existing literature reported that social media use has the potential to impact social networking platform users. According to Ellison et al (2017), the intensity of social media usage has been correlated with increased level of social capital. Besides, Park & Lee (2014) also reported that the usage of social media can heightened the sense of belonging and life satisfaction among the users. However, the study is only focused on text-based social networking platform such as Facebook. Therefore, it is hypothesized that there is a relationship between Instagram usage and self-esteem level among adolescence in Malaysia but it is further interested in to how does the intensity of Instagram, a image-based platform, affect the users’ self-esteem level.

Time Framework (Gantt Chart)

Limitation

The limitation of this research might be small sample size could not generalise the whole population. Besides, participants might brief by different researchers in the team and it may brief differently. The time spent on Instagram of the participants must be collected from their phones. Due to the privacy problem, some of the participants might not feel comfortable to provide the data. Therefore, a consent form and debriefing form are needed to distribute to the participant before the start of the research. Besides, the purpose of the study will be explained by the investigator before starting the research. Self-esteem depends on personality and can be affected by different family backgrounds. Due to embarrassment or other social factors, the participants might not be truthful in the answer.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this paper is interested in investigate the impact of time spent on Instagram and self-esteem level among adolescence in Malaysia. The strength of the current study is it studies the images-based social networking platform, Instagram, which is only limited research looked into. Besides, the use of Rosenberg self-esteem scale and time spent on Instagram data collected from phone “setting” can decrease the dishonest or the possibility of make-up data. It is hope that this research can bring some advantages to the new generation by understanding the relationship between these two variables. Besides, we also hope that people can learn and get some idea and knowledge related to this topic.

Last but not least, we hope that by doing this research, we can accomplish successfully in the cooperation with peoples directly involved or indirectly during the research process.

Works cited

  1. Ja.M. , Soomro.S.A., & Ahmad.N. (2017). Impact of Social Media on Self-Esteem. European Scientific Journal, 13(23), 329-337. doi: 10.19044/esj.2017.v13n23p329
  2. Teledo.S.M. (2015). A measurement of self-esteem and social comparison among Facebook users.
  3. University of the Pacific, Thesis-Pacific Access Restricted. Retrieved from https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/203

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Instagram Usage And Self-esteem. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/instagram-usage-and-self-esteem/
“Instagram Usage And Self-esteem.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/instagram-usage-and-self-esteem/
Instagram Usage And Self-esteem. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/instagram-usage-and-self-esteem/> [Accessed 9 Dec. 2022].
Instagram Usage And Self-esteem [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2022 Dec 9]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/instagram-usage-and-self-esteem/
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