Wellbeing, Self Image & Identity
Well-being is another name used to describe how we’re feeling in various aspects of our lives. Well-being can be used to describe various parts of you that make up the whole person and contribute to your overall happiness.
Characteristics of well-being include:
- How you think.
- How you feel.
- Your overall physical health.
- Your overall mental health.
- Your relationship with yourself and with others.
Types of social media user.
It can be safe to say that many people compare themselves to others both on and offline. Digital platforms mean that comparing ourselves to others is easier than ever to do as we can even compare ourselves to people we have never even met. Social media gives people the chance to portray themselves differently online in contrast to their own offline life. It can enable a person to become who they aspire to be online and sometimes due to anonymity become their true selves. The online and offline selves are interlined, how people portray themselves online can be a part of their personality or ego as a person has different versions of themselves. Theorists have a conflicted opinion about the intention of how people represent themselves online and offline.
Social Comparison Theory
Social networking sites have created a problem of how the self is to be understood in the online world. They allow us to be validated by others as they can input their views, and this can influence self-perception (how we view ourselves). How many times have you uploaded something and honestly say you have not checked how many likes or the feedback it has? Does this make you question your motive for uploading content to your social media? Would you be disappointed if an image or video does not have the reaction that you wanted for your online community?
There are also a number of social users who are passive. This is where a user tends to view content instead of posting it. This can be due to low self-esteem as they feel as they are not good enough. As a user you need to remember that people can strategically upload images of them having fun and all the good things that they do. Researchers have found that comparing yourself to others can cause stress and anxiety. People select what they post, and a lot of images have been doctored. Do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of believing everything on social media is real, it really can be all smoke and mirrors. Learn more about mental health online.
Theorist believe that people have different identities for their different platforms. Does your child act differently on Instagram than they would on TikTok? Is this because you are watching them? We have put together a page of links for several devices, phone, television and Wi-Fi providers so you can understand how you can look at privacy and parental settings for the apps your child use. As a parent you can then assess benefits and risks of online platforms and understand how your child chooses to express themselves online.
You may want to speak to your child about:
- The dangers of strangers online. Find out more about Grooming and strangers on the internet.
- You can also speak to your child about their online reputation. You can address why it is important to be responsible for their actions on and offline communicate with your child about hatred, violence, illegal activities, or risky sexual behaviour that can account online should be avoided entirely.