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This study aimed to determine how self-comparison during social media use affects self-esteem. Data obtained from 2016 showed that in Indonesia has a very high number of social media users. The largest group of social media users are adolescents, who spend more than three hours a day on social media. They display a positive self-image on social media to impress others. This behavior can be used as inspiration due to the positive content, but it can also trigger jealousy and low life satisfaction, and it can affect how individuals evaluate themselves. This quantitative study analyzed the data using a linear regression. The study population was comprised of 221 adolescents aged 13 to 18 years old. Social comparison was measured using the Iowa-Netherlands Comparison Orientation Measure, which was developed by Gibbons and Bunk. Self-esteem was measured using the State Self-esteem Scale developed by Heatherton and Polivy. The regression analysis results indicated that the predictor explained 29.6% of the variance. Thus, self-comparison significantly predicted self-esteem.
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The Effect of Self-Comparison in Social Media on
Self Esteem
Clara Moningka1*, Ratih Eminiar P.1
1Psychology Program, Universitas Pembangunan Jaya, Indonesia
*Corresponding author, Email: clara.moningka@upj.ac.id
ABSTRACT
This study aimed to determine how self-comparison during social media use affects self-esteem. Data
obtained from 2016 showed that in Indonesia has a very high number of social media users. The
largest group of social media users are adolescents, who spend more than three hours a day on social
media. They display a positive self-image on social media to impress others. This behavior can be
used as inspiration due to the positive content, but it can also trigger jealousy and low life satisfaction,
and it can affect how individuals evaluate themselves. This quantitative study analyzed the data using
a linear regression. The study population was comprised of 221 adolescents aged 13 to 18 years old.
Social comparison was measured using the Iowa-Netherlands Comparison Orientation Measure,
which was developed by Gibbons and Bunk. Self-esteem was measured using the State Self-esteem
Scale developed by Heatherton and Polivy. The regression analysis results indicated that the predictor
explained 29.6% of the variance. Thus, self-comparison significantly predicted self-esteem.
Keywords: Self-comparison, social media, self-image.
1. INTRODUCTION
The development of information
technology has created a tool for building
and maintaining relationships with other
individuals, which is referred to as social
media. Lenhart and Madden (cited by
Haase & Young, 2010) explain that social
media has become prevalent in people's
lives. Social media itself can be defined as
a group of internet-based applications that
form social relationships and allow the
formation and exchange of user-generated
content (Kaplan & Haenlein, cited by
Romeltea, 2014). Social media is also
becoming a place where users can be
entertained, participate, and communicate
in the social environment (Leonsis cited by
Hardy, 2016).
Survey results obtained by the
Indonesian Internet Service Providers
Association stated that data obtained from
2016 (cited by Birra, 2018) reported a high
number of social media users in Indonesia.
Indonesia ranks fourth in the world for the
use of social media and is the primary user
of Facebook with over 100 million users,
followed by other forms of social media.
The largest population of social media
users is comprised of adolescents ranging
in age from 13 to 18 years old; these
adolescents comprise over 75% of the total
users and spend more than three hours a
day on social media.
Research in Indonesia conducted by
Ayun (2015) showed that adolescents also
use social media to form their identifies.
They often share personal messages with
other users, view and read news, and
Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 494
Joint proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Intervention and Applied Psychology (ICIAP 2019) and
the 4th Universitas Indonesia Psychology Symposium for Undergraduate Research (UIPSUR 2019)
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Atlantis Press SARL.
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upload or share statuses. They also share
information that describes their condition
at certain times, the location of the place
they are visiting or have visited, and
photos and videos based on some events.
Adolescents use social media to show their
existence in their social environment.
Streep (cited by Ayun, 2015) explained
that through social media, people can
display a positive self-image and able to
show as they expected. Other research also
states that social media users prefer to
share activities that reflect the most
pleasant parts of life, with the hope of
receiving positive responses from other
users (Kim & Lee, 2011; Foo cited by
Moningka, 2017). They display a positive
self-image to impress others. This
behavior can be used as encouragement
due to the encouraging content portrayed
(Triastuti, Prabowo, & Nurul, 2017);
however, it can also trigger a lower state of
happiness, jealousy, and can reduce
positive mood (Krasnova cited by
Sagioglou & Greitemeyer, 2014;
Greitemeyer, Mugge, & Bollermann cited
by Sagioglou & Greitemeyer, 2014).
Vogel, Rose, Roberts, and Eckles
(2014) explained that through social
media, individuals have the opportunity to
perform social comparisons using
information shown by other users. Social
media allows individuals to make
comparisons easier and more frequently.
Individuals can easily access social media
anywhere and anytime. This situation also
allows them to engage in comparing
behavior.
Social comparison is defined as a
condition in which individuals tend to
compare themselves with other individuals
(Festinger cited by Sarwono, 2013). Social
comparison occurs when individuals need
direction or standards with which to
compare their opinions and abilities. Most
adolescents perform this type of
comparison when they start experiencing
puberty (Papalia, Olds, & Feldman, 2009)
and changes in brain structure that reflect
an increase in their ability to process
information (Santrock cited by Sarwono,
2011). Moningka (2017) explained that
individuals will process cues from their
social environment by comparing
themselves with information that already
exists. Sanderson (cited by Moningka,
2017) says that individuals perform
comparisons with others to reduce
insecurity about their performance or
capability.
The advantages and disadvantages of
social comparison are related to how
individuals view and value themselves.
This concept is called self-esteem (Vogel,
Rose, Roberts, & Eckles, 2014; Fardouly,
Diedrichs, Vartanian, & Halliwell, 2015).
According to Coopersmith (cited by
Heatherton & Wyland, 2003), self-esteem
is an individual's evaluation of their self.
Self-esteem is a part of the self that is
responsive to regular events and situations
(Heatherton & Polivy cited byVogel, Rose,
Roberts, & Eckles, 2014).
Research conducted by Tesser (cited
by Heatherton & Polivy, 1999) showed the
tendency for a relationship between social
comparison and self-esteem. However,
studies related to social comparison and
self-esteem display differing results. Jang,
Park, and Song (2016) conducted a study
assessing social comparisons on Facebook.
Their results showed that there was no
significant relationship between social
comparisons and self-esteem; conversely,
research conducted by Vogel, Rose,
Roberts, and Eckles (2014) identified a
Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 494
384
significant relationship between the two
variables. Through comparisons,
individuals can create new standards for
themselves. The above-mentioned studies
indicate that the results of research on
social comparison and self-esteem have
not been consistent.
The differing results of previous
studies highlight the need to perform
further research to provide more reliable
data on the relationship and the effect of
comparison with self-esteem for social
media users. Indonesia has a high rate of
social media use among adolescents and
has reported a large number of hoaxes or
cyberbullying cases. Social media users
will sacrifice other extravagances to make
sure their mobile phones or other
electronic devices have enough credit to
access the internet (Moningka, 2017). In
this study, in addition to assessing the
relationship between social comparison
and self-esteem, the researcher aimed to
investigate the tendency to engage in
social comparison in social media and
how it effects the formation of self-
esteem. This research is expected to serve
as a reference for constructing educational
programs on how to use social media
wisely, particularly for children and
adolescents.
2. METHODS
2.1. Participants
The study participants were 221
adolescent males and females aged 13 to
18 years old who live in Jakarta, Bogor,
Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi. The
respondents in this study had social media
accounts and were social media users who
completed the online questionnaires. This
study used a convenience sampling
method. The informed consent form
explained that this questionnaire was
intended for adolescents within a certain
age range. The researcher also ensured that
the participants were completing the
questionnaire voluntarily.
2.2. Measurement
2.2.1. Iowa-Netherlands Comparison
Orientation Measure (INCOM)
Social comparison was measured using
the INCOM, which was developed by
Gibbons and Bunk (1999). This scale
consists of two dimensions (opinion and
ability) with 11 total items. It was adapted
for the context of social media into the
Indonesian language by Moningka (2018).
The corrected item total correlation of the
items ranged from .333 to .543 with a
reliability of .793. The items were assessed
on a five-point Likert scale with options
ranging from strongly disagree to strongly
agree.
2.2.2. State Self-esteem Scale (SSES)
Self-esteem was measured using the
SSES, which was developed by
Heatherton and Polivy (1991). This scale
consists of three dimensions (performance,
social, and appearance) with 20 total
items. The corrected item total correlation
ranged from .400 to .589 with a reliability
of .787. Two items were not used because
they had a low corrected item total
correlation. The items were assessed on a
five-point Likert scale, with options
ranging from very suitable for me to
very incompatible for me.
3. RESULTS
In this study, the scores for the
INCOM and SSES were divided into high
and low categories. The categorization
was based on empirical mean norms.
Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 494
385
Table 1 shows the score categorization for the study variables.
Table 1. Score Categorization for the Study Variables
Variable
Low
High
Social Comparison
11 37
38 55
Self-Esteem
18 62
63 90
3.1. Social Comparison Score
Distribution
The social comparison score was
divided into two categories, high and low.
Based on the data obtained from the 221
respondents, 39 respondents (18%) had
high social comparison scores and 182
(82%) had low social comparison scores.
The distribution of the INCOM results
(social comparison scores) are presented in
Table 2.
Table 2. Distribution of Respondents based on INCOM Scores
Category
Social Comparison
%
High
18%
Low
82%
Total
100%
3.2. Self-Esteem Score Distribution
The self-esteem scores were divided
into two categories, high and low. Based
on the data obtained from the 221
respondents, 97 respondents (44%) had
high self-esteem scores and 124 (56%) had
low self-esteem scores. Table 3 displays
the distribution of respondents based on
self-esteem score.
Table 3. Distribution of Respondents based on SSES Scores
Category
Self-esteem
n
%
High
97
44%
Total
221
100%
3.3. Person Product-Moment
Correlation
The data obtained were analyzed using
the Pearson product-moment correlation to
determine the relationship between two
variables. The result showed that there was
a significant negative correlation between
self-comparison and self-esteem (r = -
.544, p < .05). The results of the regression
indicated that the predictor explained
29.6% of the variance (R2 = .296, F
(1,198) = 83.125, p < .01). Thus, self-
comparison significantly predicted self-
esteem (β = .54, p < .001).
Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 494
386
4. DISCUSSION and CONCLUSION
The results of this study identified a
negative correlation between social
comparisons in social media and self-
esteem. In this case, the more often an
individual compares behavior via social
media, the more likely they are to have
low self-esteem. This finding is similar to
the results of a previous study conducted
by Jang, Park, and Song (2016). This
research also concluded that social
comparisons via Facebook and self-esteem
are negatively correlated. Self-esteem was
also significantly related to perceived
social support and mental health in that
study. This finding is similar to other
related studies conducted by Lyubomirsky
and Ross (1997) and Giordano, Wood, and
Michela (2000). These studies explained
that comparison behaviors cause an
individual to be unhappy with themselves.
Adolescents tend to compare themselves
with their peers, which clearly affects the
formation of self-esteem. This is also
supported by research by Vogel (2014),
who suggests that social media users who
often share about themselves tend to be
unhappy and view themselves in a more
negative light.
These research findings add to the
literature by strengthening evidence for the
negative effect of social media on
adolescents. The results of this study can
be used as a reference in Jakarta because
other studies have stated that social
comparison is common in social media
and that there was no significant
correlation between social comparison in
social media and self-esteem. This study
can also be used to help create
interventions or educational programs for
parents and teenagers to use social media
wisely.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This study was supported by the
Psychology Program of Universitas
Pembangunan Jaya. Funding was provided
by the researchers.
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... Alasan utama, individu melakukan deception behavior adalah karena alasan psikologis, yaitu untuk melindungi diri dari rasa malu (Phillips et al., 2011). Saat ini kalangan remaja berada pada masa di mana merupakan suatu hal yang biasa untuk memamerkan kehidupan pribadi di media sosial untuk memperoleh pengakuan dari orang lain, sehingga bagi beberapa remaja yang telah membandingkan keadaan realita dirinya jauh dengan orang lain menyebabkan turunnya self-esteem dan membentuk sebuah standar baru (Moningka & Eminiar, 2020) di mana pada akhirnya beberapa remaja tersebut perlu memalsukan serta merekayasa hal yang mereka miliki yang pada akhirnya membangun citra diri yang palsu (Putri, 2020). Mereka bahkan membuat akun palsu atau anonim agar ketika melakukan sesuatu tidak perlu memikirkan rasa takut dan tanggung jawab (Hayuputri, 2019). ...
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