Selfie Viewing Linked to a Decrease in Self-esteem

Study says a person who does not participate in posting or liking social content, but just observing, is not far from a decrease in self-esteem and life satisfaction; viewing selfies only and frequently on social network sites like facebook may have bad effect on how humans view themselves, according to the Penn  State mass communication research.

Ruoxu Wang, graduate student in mass communications, also one of the researchers, said:

Most of the research done on social network sites looks at the motivation for posting and liking content, but we’re now starting to look at the effect of viewing behavior.

Wang and Fan Yang, a fellow graduate student in mass communications worked with Michel Haigh, associate professor in communications, who is also Wang’s graduate adviser, to survey data collected on the psychological effects of posting and viewing selfies and groupies. They found that posting behavior did not have significant psychological effects for participants as viewing behavior did. They postulate that, people’s self-esteem and life satisfaction tend to be lower the more they view other’s selfies and theirs.

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People usually post selfies when they’re happy or having fun, said Wang. This makes it easy for someone else to look at these pictures and think your his or her life is not as great as theirs.

We don’t often think about how what we post affects the people around us. said Yang. I think this study can help people understand the potential consequences of their posting behavior. This can help counselors work with students feeling lonely, unpopular, or unsatisfied with their lives.

The researchers hope to raise awareness about social media use.


Ruoxu Wang, , Fan Yang , Michel M. Haigh. Exploring the psychological effects of posting and viewing selfies and groupies on social media- published in the journal Telematics and Informatics 

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