What Instagram from causing low self-esteem for them. The

  What is esteem? The term ‘Esteem’
means, an appreciation and respect for oneself. Furthermore, it is a feeling of
confidence and satisfaction towards a person’s life, for example; physical
appearance. (Bailey, 2003).  Presently digital technologies
have gained the ability to control the mindsets of people and their
self-esteem. (Self-esteem describes someone’s self-confidence, contempt in
appearance, self-worth, self-dignity and integrity. (J. Mruk, 2003). Social
media in particular has a way of affecting some female Nigerian students in the
university through a social media platform called “Instagram” (a free
application that allow users share photos, videos, gain followers and likes.

(Dictionary, 2017). Instagram is one of the most used application worldwide. In
the month of September 2017, the number of Instagram users had reached
800million. (Statista, 2017). Instagram
has a powerful effect, which causes an unconscious impulse low self-esteem for
some Nigerian students in the university. Through this platform, some
university female students get the license to be hurt and sometimes they
develop a skewed self-image forcing these students to lose focus in their
academics. However, this research seeks to find how Instagram affects the
self-esteem of some female Nigerian students in the University and may be
providing solutions to help the affected student gain a higher self-esteem and focusing
on their academics. 

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The research problem is concerned about what students can do to stop Instagram
from causing low self-esteem for them. The chosen topic is personal feeling
which individuals experience when they become triggered by what they see on
Instagram. For instance, Instagram affects the self-esteem of most female users
of the application around the world which usually results to a state of
depression. (Koman, 2017). Consequently, this research
will focus only on female Nigerian students in the university that Instagram
has perpetually destabilized their emotions and subsequently cause low
self-esteem for them. Generally, females are perceived to be timid than males
in the society. It is bad if a person’s esteem is low as it may generate
problems. Such as; inferiority complex, emotional instability, repression,
insecurity, less self-regard and commonly depression. Researchers said “men
reported higher self-esteem than women.” (Alter, 2017). Depression
is categorized as a mental health problem. Depression is harmful to the health.

According to researchers “depression and loneliness were expected to decrease
over the course of the study, while self-esteem and social support were
predicted to increase.” (Journals.sagepub.com, 2017). Thus, some students begin
to have low self-esteem when they do not have their desired number of
followers, likes and comments on Instagram. “Young women often need
the ‘reassurance’ of likes and shares online, and are faced with images of
‘perfect’ bodies.” (Campbell, 2017). The purpose of this study is to know why
the female students have allowed Instagram to take custody of their feelings
and emotions which constantly makes them feel depressed and also affect them


One of the most important thing
about self-esteem is that humans have a “need for self-esteem” cited in
(Krämer and Winter, 2014) by (Schlenker, 1980, p. 88). According
to (Kristin 2003) self-esteem concise 3 features. Firstly, the essence
to feel appreciated by oneself and refuse to seek validation from other people.

Secondly, self-esteem originates from within and can be likewise affected by
social factors, for example, peer gathering. Lastly, self-esteem works all
together with a person’s reflections, conduct, sentiments and actions. This
review will give credible and clear insight of the topic. The aim and purpose
of the review Firstly, is to establish theoretical framework how Instagram
affects the self-esteem of female Nigerian students in the university.

Secondly, the aim is to give definitions and terminology of key terms such as;
self-esteem, media, Instagram, dopamine, neurotransmitter, inferiority
complex, Norepinephrine, peer pressure, oppressed and
isolation. Thirdly, to identify studies and contextual investigation to support
the topic. Finally, to define and establish the research topic. 

According to Krämer and Winter, (2014, pp.106-107) ‘Nowadays anyone can
appear in the media and “broadcast” himself or herself to the globalized world.

What is media? ‘The term, media which achieved broad popularity in 2005, is
usually applied to describe the various forms of media content that are
publicly available and created by end-users.’ (Kaplan and Haenlein,
2010). According to Wilson and Lawan, (2015,
pp. 48-51) ‘The media has changed the ways people organize
their lives and participate in various spheres of society.’ In other words, the
media is intensively redefining peoples approach to life. According
to Kietzmann et
al., (2011, pp. 244-250) ‘Given the increasing connectivity of people on
the move, this presence bridges the real and the virtual.’ Which means it is
creating barriers and changing the way people relate with family and close
friends. In other words, it is generally seen as the use of anything that
enables the flow of digital information or digital communication. Nonetheless,
it is a social approach that allows individuals share their day to day life on
social media applications such as; Instagram, Facebook, snapchat and twitter.

This review will focus on how Instagram, which is one of the most
famous and most used social media applications in the world. (Statista,
2017), has gained the access to be very useful for some individuals as
they use it as a room to promote themselves. Nevertheless, the same Instagram
has gained the license to hurt the self-esteem of some people. ‘Instagram
is all about visual sharing, so everybody’s main intention is to share and find
only the best photos and videos.’ (Moreau, 2017) 

Consequently, Instagram stimulates
the idea and thoughts for some female Nigerians students compare themselves
with others on the platform. These causes certain pressure on these affected
females to showcase another part of them which they are not. For example, by
posting edited pictures. These affected students tend to seek validation by
other Instagram users, by getting certain amount of likes or comments. On the
other hand, likes and comments releases dopamine to the brain and body.

Dopamine is a chemical that is associated with pleasure, happiness, love,
organism and good mood. When the chemical is released, it unconsciously
creates an addiction to Instagram (Yates, 2017). Hence, if the desired likes
and comments are not satisfying. It psychologically controls the emotions of
some females and aggravate low self-esteem. It has been argued by scholars that
social media can affect the self-esteem of a person. According to Valkenburg
Ph.D. et al., (2006, pp.584-585) if the objective of social media is based on
the likes and comments to assure a person’s appearance is good, they will be
disappointed and it is likely that the utilization of such assurance will
influence the measurements of confidence that will affect their

When a female has low self-esteem, neurotransmitter
is defined as ‘a neurotransmitter is a messenger of neurologic information
from one cell to another.’ (MedicineNet, 2017). It releases a
chemical in the brain called Norepinephrine. According to Briley and Chantal
(2011), when the chemical is released (Norepinephrine) it causes anxiety, high
blood pressure and depression. ‘Depression is a common mental disorder that
causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure,
feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy,
and poor concentration.’ (Mental Health Foundation 2017).  Female Nigerian
students in the university who are affected by Instagram, are most likely going
to experience depression. Therefore, it can possibly affect their academic
performance. For instance, they may be highly distracted. Hence, dopamine the
chemical which is released in the brain, it ‘provides the drive to focus and be
productive.’ (Health and 7 Ways to Boost Dopamine, 2017). And when the
Norepinephrine and dopamine are released at the same time, they both
intersect. However, it can result to lack of concentration. Hence, a
student can lose focus in her academics, because of the effect of Instagram
either by not getting the desired likes, comments, or seeing other people’s
pictures which therefore, results to inferiority complex.   

Inferiority complex is a feeling of
inadequacy, which is expressed through introversion reticence or timidity.

According to Moritz, Werner and Collani (2006)
‘It has been theorized that patients with persecutory delusions display a
lack of covert self-esteem (formerly termed the `inferiority complex’).

Furthermore, as inferiority complex is associated with self-esteem, it can
take charge of how an individual feel and herby destabilize their emotions it
can possibly affect their attitude towards the things they do and their life in
general. It can also expose an individual to feel they are being criticized or
rejected. Moreover, this can as well be seen as an area of concern as people
with inferiority complex facade their inferiority by acting superior. Hence,
not being able to express how they feel, because they might be embarrassed to
share, should be another area of concern. Why? Because this people can
experience suicidal ideation. Suicidal ideation is thoughts, and
impulse act of taking one’s own life. (Victor R and Delores E, 2005). People
facing these challenges of low self-esteem, inferiority complex, repression and
depression due to Instagram, need reassurance to consume the idea of their
suicidal thoughts. Furthermore, some female Nigerian students in the university
usually develop an attitude of being an introvert and mostly being

The main use of social media is now
ignored in this modern generation, and people forget the real reasons of its
invention and explore the negative aspects which on a contrary destroy their
self-esteem. The positive use of the social media, for example,
students use social media application such as WhatsApp or Facebook to stay
connected and exchange ideas concerning their assignments or other useful
information. Social media ‘offer multiple daily opportunities for
connecting with friends, classmates, and people with shared interests.’
(O’Keeffe and Clarke-Pearson, 2011). The negative use of the social
media.  For example, a girl can spend time looking at
other people’s pictures and videos that they have posted and begin to
feel oppressed because they feel the individual is perfect and more beautiful
than she is. Thus, when she begins to feel oppressed, then it
generates low self-esteem for her. Some female Nigerian students in the
university who have low self-esteem due to excessive use of Instagram can save themselves
the feeling of experiencing low self-worth. By controlling how they feel and
what they see by using it less often. And not allowing what they see control
them and make them have low self-esteem and begin to feel isolated. Isolated is
defined as being lonely. (Dictionary, 2017). While the Mark Zuckerberg inventor
of Instagram and owner of Facebook was designing the application, he most
likely did not aim for it to cause low self-esteem for individuals (Oreskovic, 2016).

Instagram is for the users to showcase their best visuals, like; photos, videos
as well as communicating via the medium. However, Instagram is a social media
application that is highly used around the world by teenagers and adults.