Recently, we conducted a survey where we interviewed fifty high school students, asking them questions about how their self confidence relates to their instagram fame. Why? To come to a conclusion about whether or not likes and followers affect the average teenager’s confidence. As we asked these students about their feelings towards their popularity on social media, we were both surprised at some of the results that we received. Some of the answers we were given really opened our eyes to the fact that we might not know everyone as well as we think we do.
One statement really stood out to us: “…Long term confidence doesn’t come from likes or followers, but it helps to have people support you” –Maddy W.
We realized while doing this that it seemed people really did not care about likes or followers as much as we hypothesized they would. They were confident in themselves for the most part, but there were some who had very low confidence. Perhaps we had started to conform to the norms and believed that every teenager was superficial enough to have confidence based on how many likes or followers they had. However, this was not the pattern we saw in the fifty teenagers we interviewed.
Here are the questions we asked them:
What would you rate your confidence on a scale of 1-10?
10% of them said their confidence was below a 4
50% of them said their confidence was 5-6
40% of them said their confidence was 7+
Do you feel like you get a confidence boost when you get a lot of likes rather than just a few?
60% said yes
40% said no
Do you think your confidence would improve if you became “instagram famous”?
50% of them said yes
50% of them said no
How many followers do you have?
40% of them had less than 200
30% of them have between 200 and 600
30% of them have 600 or more
So in conclusion, we found that many teenagers look towards other sources besides social media for their self confidence. Some examples were support from friends and family, or focusing on accomplishments besides hundreds of likes (good grades, leading roles in plays, improving in a sport, ect). Social media is meant to be a fun way to interact with friends, share selfies, and keep up with what is going on in your friend’s lives. If you are one of the people who feel that your confidence is directly affected by followers and likes on social media, consider taking a break from posting and find your own self confidence. There are so many more important things in life besides getting lots of likes and comments on Instagram. Thousands of strangers liking your pictures is nothing compared to liking yourself, and liking yourself is what matters at the end of the day.