Social Comparison Theory Essay Introduction
As a human being, we often use the people around to evaluate ourselves. Our success or failures depend on how better or worse we are relative to friends, family and neighbors. The social comparison theory explores this social phenomenon and explains why and how individuals measure their social and personal worth by comparing themselves to others (Festinger, 1954). Get legit paper writing services now!
According to this theory, when some people find out that there are worse than others, they tend to draw motivation from the situation. Others in the same predicament may feel a deep sense of dissatisfaction and guild. This situation may drive them towards engaging in destructive behaviors like reckless consumption of alcohol. Those who find themselves better off than others may choose to relax or even the motivation to keep going.
Social media sites have a severe impact on users’ mental health (Naslund et al., 2016). Through their social media posts, people judge their wealth, success, attractiveness, and standings on various contentious issues in the social and political arena. This paper looks into the social comparison theory concerning social media sites and how they affect our lives.
Social Comparison Theory Essay: Investigating Social Comparison Theory and Social Networking Sites
The social comparison theory is one of the highest-ranking of social-psychological theories. This theory has been applied numerously in the evaluation of how a person views and understands themselves (Yazdiha, 2019). It helps people evaluate their capabilities and tell how appropriate their feelings and actions are. Researchers in the field of social-psychology have come to appreciate the fact that the comparison is not always bad (Dovidio et al., 2017).
They understand the fact that self-analysis and self-prediction are an essential aspect of healthy living. Social media has magnified the negative impact of social comparison for both adults and teens. When people compare their lives with the bizarrely high standards set by the celebrities they see on social media, they tend to develop low self-esteem. The helplessness often leads to self-distractive behavior, which is also a further addition to social media.
Social Comparison Theory Essay: Strengths and Weaknesses of Using Social Comparison Theory
According to Iaquinto (2016), the implicit comparisons, those below conscious awareness, are very impressive. The social comparison theory has successfully drawn a picture of how people compare themselves to others. The truth of this theory is very vivid, especially during social media error. It has also come in handy to psychologists, who use social comparison to tell how they think of themself. However, other researchers have concluded that the theory has been heavily exaggerated.
Social comparison is very significant and persuasive; however, it is ubiquitous. In his analysis Festinger, used mixed social, normative, and hypothetical comparisons. This is very dramatic because the three comparisons are an integral part of self-evaluation (Edelman & Larkin, 2015). The researcher, however, underestimated the importance of self-comparison in both self-analysis and self-prediction.
Social Comparison Theory Essay: Contribution of Social Comparison Theory on Culturally Appropriate
Social comparison theory and social media sites can be used to develop appropriate interventions (Huitsing et al., 2019). The social comparison theory is applicable in educating social media users on the consequences of social comparison. They can also be made aware of the importance of having a social comparison. They can use it as a source of motivation to challenge themselves and better their lives. Through social comparison, people can understand and connect.
Social Comparison Theory Essay: Possible Consequences
Social comparison has significant effects, both positive and negative. In general, people compare themselves to others to gather more information that is very key for self-assessment (Nesi & Prinstein, 2015). Upwards social comparison, especially on social media, can be a motivating factor. For example, by comparing themselves to a celebrity with a lean muscular body, a person gets the visual imagery of how the might look if they stick to an exercise routine and a healthy diet plan diligently.
On the flip side, social media comparison has a downside. Upward comparison can lead to emotional insecurities. However, downwards comparison can mitigate this, where people use it to boost their ego (Nde et al., 2020).
Social Comparison Theory Essay: Applications
The social comparison theory has been heavily applied by social media sites like Instagram and twitter (Phua et al., 2017). Increasing the engagement of users is very important. This is because the longer people stay on the site, the more the sites earn in revenue. The sites do fill the user’s feed with eye-catching and sometimes funny material. In most cases, the material triggers upward comparison, which has a severe impact on the user’s mental health.
Social Comparison Theory Essay: Conclusion
In conclusion, it is very vivid that the social comparison theory is critical, especially during the social media era. The social media users should be aware that the companies are leveraging their insecurities for them to increase their bottom line. The users can also be informed that they can use the social comparison on social media sites positively and better their life. The can use upwards, downwards, and lateral comparison as a source of motivation.