So many of us have a love/hate relationship with social media. We love it because we can connect with family, friends, role models, and peers across the globe. But at the same time, we have issues with social media because of how detrimental it can be on our spirits and commitment to empowerment.
Social media can absolutely empower women. But it can also potentially cause self-esteem issues and negatively affect our mental health. Let’s take a deeper look at both sides of social media’s impact on women.
Social Media Can Be Harmful If Your Intentions Are
First, whether social media is helpful or harmful to a woman’s self-esteem is highly dependent on her intention for using these platforms.
For example, let’s say you take a few selfies. You feel beautiful and that alone is empowering. You’re feeling so good that you end up posting these selfies. Now, the question is, what are your intentions?
For example, is documenting your journey to self-love and posting a selfie is a huge milestone you want to share with others with the hope of inspiring other women going through what you’re going through to do the same? Or did you post it to obsess over how many likes and comments you get compared to other women who did the same pose or are wearing the same outfit? Hopefully, it isn’t this one.
If you want to boost your self-esteem or find empowerment on social media, you mustn’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other people’s enhanced versions of themselves. Instead, set positive intentions for your use.
It Can Be Hard on Your Self-Esteem If Your Individualism is Rejected
Although social media encourages its users to be themselves and show their individualism, that individualism isn’t always welcomed or appreciated by everyone. As a result, they end up leaving rude, hateful, or adverse comments under your posts. This negativity can make you scared to be who you are and show the world because rejection is hard on anyone’s spirit.
Social media can make it challenging to be who you are because people can tell you something hurtful at will without real consequence on these platforms. In contrast, you’re desperately fighting not to let their comments chip away at your very personhood. Social media can also be a negative thing because of all the misinformation spread on these platforms.
There’s A lot of Misinformation on Social Media
Unfortunately, we can’t trust everything we read on social media.
Even with all of the time and effort these social media platforms put into preventing the circulation of misinformation and fake news, there just hasn’t been a way to stop it completely. As a result, there are many women out there absorbing and re-sharing false information that is harmful to who we are and can ultimately result in us behaving in unproductive ways.
Engaging on social media platforms requires you to be highly cautious about the content you consume, always fact-check, and do your own research.
Witness Women Dominating Entrepreneurship
On a lighter note, social media isn’t entirely negative, either. For example, women are aggressively taking over the entrepreneurial sector. We’re starting businesses worldwide and documenting our rise to success.
Furthermore, as women document their journeys in entrepreneurship, they’re sharing those stories on social media platforms, providing the blueprint for future female entrepreneurs to follow. Women entrepreneurs are also taking their marketing efforts to social media. As a result, they’re making deeper connections with their target audience and fueling their business’s success through sales and conversions.
Find Your Community
Social media presents a fantastic opportunity for women to make genuine connections with other women through online communities. Not only can we immerse ourselves in communities dedicated to women empowerment, but we can also take those connections further by joining groups that support our values, purposes, and passions.
For example, social media outlets like Instagram can help women build awareness for environmental issues like climate change through environmental photography. It can also be used to raise awareness for social issues like racism and fighting against sex trafficking through pictures, videos, and other visual content.
All in all, we’re creating communities through the content we share on social media and helping the world focus on broader issues that need our help.
Lastly, social media gives us space to showcase how we’re redefining beauty, love, and other standards.
Redefine Beauty, Love, and Other Standards
You don’t have to be a size two to have a “nice” body. A partner and children aren’t every woman’s dream. We have other interests besides finding love — we work in construction, finance, and other male-dominated industries. This list of stereotypes and out-of-date standards goes on.
Although we knew all of the above things were true before social media, these platforms allow us to show our depth like never before. We’re telling our unique stories. Also, we’re inspiring little girls coming up to do the same.
Ultimately, we’re redefining beauty, love, and other standards about women that serve no positive purpose in any of our lives thanks to the accessibility, creative freedom, and opportunity on social media platforms.
Social media impacts our self-esteem, self-worth, and overall personhood.
Whether that impact is empowering or defeating is highly dependent on intentions for using these platforms. It’s also reliant on our ability to handle how hard it can be on our spirit and the wealth of misinformation spread on social media.
With that being said, we’ve still made so much positive progress with social media regarding women’s empowerment. We’re finding our tribes, witnessing women takeover entrepreneurship, and redefining all of those nonsense standards. And it’s a beautiful, empowering thing.
Noah Rue is a journalist and content writer, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn’t searching out his next great writing opportunity, Noah likes to shut off his devices and head to the mountains to disconnect.