The relationship between the usage of Instagram and self-esteem

  • Katirina Maria Fernandez (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Social Networks such as Instagram have become an indispensable form of communications in recent times. The widespread reach of Social Networks globally has allowed individuals to be hyperconnected. Instagram is one of the most prominent Social Network platforms that is known worldwide. The photo and video sharing service allows users to upload posts that can either be viewed by their restricted followers or public (depending on the settings that they choose). By doing so, many choose to upload the best versions of themselves which may or may not depict their realities. This can cause one’s self-esteem to be impacted when trying to portray an idealised version of himself/herself or when checking and comparing with other Instagram users’ profiles, number of likes, shares and comments. This can ensue to an individual either having a positive or negative self-esteem. This can be supported by previous researchers who have posited that the use of Social Networks can affect one’s self esteem. Though there are many theories that have postulated the impact of Social Networks on the users’ self-esteem, the Self-esteem updating model (Krause et al., 2021) has been an useful foundation of understanding the impact of Instagram usage on the users through the three main dimensions of “Social Comparison”, “Self-reflection” and “Social feedback”. Our study aimed to find the impact of these three dimensions on the Instagram users’ self-esteem through the use of quantitative research. An online survey was validated with 95 participants living in either Portugal or Singapore. We found that the users’ self-esteem was impacted to some extent through the various dimensions. There was especially a positive and strong impact between “Social feedback” and “Self-esteem”. This study served as a foundation for future studies to confirm that there is an impact of Instagram usage and one’s self-esteem.
Date of Award12 Mar 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJoão Miguel Botelho de Lemos e Diogo (Supervisor)


  • Social networks
  • Instagram usage
  • Self-esteem
  • Social comparison
  • Self-reflection
  • Social feedback


  • Mestrado em Ciências da Comunicação

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