Digital Pandemic: Low Self-Esteem Compelled by Social Media Use – Part 2

John Winstanley
John Winstanley
Internet Safety Advocate, Husband, Father, Runner, NOT perfect...and that is o.k.
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In a former life, I was a registered professional engineer.  During my college years, in every class I took, the professors drilled this concept into our brains: to create a solution, you have to understand every detail of the problem. To state it in another way: a problem is half-solved if you understand all aspects of the problem.

So, before we diffuse the problem of low self-esteem compelled by social media use, let’s spend some time getting to know the issue first.

Don’t worry though, it won’t be like my engineering classes…I’m going to make it quick and to the point, in small digestible “Self-Esteem Tidbits”:

 Self- Esteem Tidbit #1: Definition:

Self-Esteem plays a very important role in how we feel about ourselves, but also how we chose to navigate through life. According to Psychology the definition of self-esteem is this:

     “Confidence in one’s value as a human being”


  • Can’t accept criticism or praise
  • Bulllying, bossy, controlling
  • Says: “I never do anything right” a lot.
  • Quits things frequently and fast because they get “frustrated”
  • Won’t start things because they will fail
  • Cheating and lying
  • Worrying about what others think of them
  • Social isolation
  • Problems sleeping, head aches, aches, etc.

 Self- Esteem Tidbit #2 Self-Esteem is never constant – no matter how we live. The Shadow Analogy

Most of us don’t think about this, but it needs to be: our self-esteem varies greatly over our life time. It is NOT constant.

Some days, months, or seasons of our life we are on top of the world, ready to take on anything life throws our way.

Some days, months, or seasons, we feel like crawling under a rock and never coming out….and that is ok.

We need to realize that this is a part of the human existence, and not get discouraged.  Life happens, and our self-esteem will go up or down depending on our circumstances.

Here is a visual analogy: our self-esteem is like our shadow. During the seasons, depending on where the sun is in the sky, our shadow is either very long, short, or not visible at all….but even though our shadow changes length, our actual height doesn’t. When our self-esteem is at our lowest, we need to remember that we still matter, we are unique, and that we are the same person we were on our confident days.

mental health fortsafety

"Our kids are drowning in status updates, likes, follows, tweets, memes, clicks, tiktoks, check-ins, and snaps...but dying of thirst for personal connection, identity, belonging and confidence in themselves"

 Self- Esteem Tidbit #3:There are 3 levels of self-esteem


This tidbit is going to sound similar to the story of goldilocks and the 3 bears: self-esteem is like the porridge in the story (except it is a function of quantity not temperature):

too much, too little, and just right.

 Here are the characteristics of a person while at the various levels:

Too Much Self-Esteem: arrogant, cocky, entitled, does not learn from mistakes, prone to hurt those around them.

Too little self-esteem: depressed, anxious, unfulfilled potential, tolerance of abusive relationships and situations, self-isolation, unwilling to start anything.

Just Right Self-esteem: confident, genial,  courage to solve problems, joy in themselves (not from others), not focused on making themselves better than others

Self- Esteem Tidbit #4: Self-Esteem is revealed during difficult times: Normal People doing Amazing Things.

Check out my video about this on the right. ====>


Part Three of this blog will focus on diffusing the effects of negative social media habits and providing time proven tips, tricks, and hacks on over-coming low self-esteem along with some resources and worksheets.

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