This is my journal of experiences that relate to the concepts and principles that I encountered in my class in psychology. This is actually an activity that I am quite interested because I could share my inner thoughts and feelings about certain experiences that are personally significant to me. Through this journal, I would not only express my thoughts but would be able as well to understand these experiences by using concepts and theories from psychology. This is indeed an exciting way to explore myself in relation to the objectives of the subject.
A particular experience of mine that really intrigues me and I want to understand is my habit of using the social networking website such as Facebook. I admit, I’d like to associate myself with others through Facebook. I really don’t know why I have such kind of addiction of posting pictures and messages through the said website. I would like to understand also as to why I would prefer communicating online or through Facebook instead of personally talking to the person.
In most instances, I also want to meet new people through Facebook rather than talking to them on a face to face basis. I feel so connected to the world when I communicate through the said social networking website. However, as I learned in the psychology class, every behavior has underlying explanations. Though I am not the only one who is really hooked on the web of social networking websites, I’d like to understand fully this phenomenon that has emerged in this generation.
I’ve learned from talking to my parents that they had difficulties in communicating during their time. Unlike today, people communicate before through letters and telephone only, which were slower and inefficient than the social networking website. So, surfing through the social networking website is indeed advantageous than the snail mail or telephone.
However, there are some downsides to this phenomenon, which are actually psychological in nature. As I researched the reasons for the addiction for using Facebook, I’ve learned that the said behavior directly relates to the person’s self-concept and self-esteem. I’ve learned in our class that self-concept and self-esteem are two psychological concepts that have significant impact on how we behave and how we view ourselves.
Self-concept is how we see ourselves as a person. It is the core of our personality that dictates who we are as compared to others. On the other hand, self-esteem pertains to our confidence. It determines of how much we like ourselves. These are important concepts that would make up who we are.
According to the article by Michael Poh (2012), Facebook provides many things to the users. For one thing, users can validate their existence by the attention given to them through the Facebook. In a sense, social approval is one key element that makes Facebook very popular. People who lack any meaningful social relationships in real life, Facebook can fill this inadequacy. In a way, the messages from others through Facebook signify social approval that contributes to enhancing one’s self-esteem.
In another article written byDamien Pearse (2012), Facebook tends to nurture the negative side of one’s personality. The desire to post as many pictures as one can is interpreted as a reflection of one’s narcissistic tendency. As some studies suggest, there is a clear link between the number of pictures and friends through Facebook and the degree of narcissism one has. These studies concluded that the more the pictures and the number of friends a person has through Facebook, the lower his/her self-esteem especially in dealing with people. These people also have higher degree of narcissism or the extreme love to one’s self.
Personally, whether I like it or not, the explanations of the mentioned authors seem true and valid. I tend to seek approval from others through my Facebook account. I would also say that I have to do something about my self-esteem and self-concept because it gives me something that is not truly meaningful. It is an artificial way of filling up what is lacking within me. From now on, I would have to look at Facebook as a simple communication tool and not a venue to nurture my inadequacies within myself.
This activity has been an eye-opener to me because I had the chance to explore a part of me that I need to understand. It is really true that self-awareness would lead to positive changes. My heightened awareness about the impact of Facebook unto myself would certainly contribute in improving how I perceive myself as person.