My name is Stuart Kavanagh, I just completed my fourth year in Applied Psychology at Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT). This course has furthered my understanding of the relationship between technology and psychology which is a major interest of mine. The skills that I have developed (see WordPress website linked below) have resulted in me hoping to pursue a career in UX.
Social networking site (SNS) use has been the subject of recent research. However, most of this research has examined generic SNS use or Facebook use. This in conjunction with Facebook decreasing in popularity and Instagram increasing in popularity illustrates the need for more Instagram specific research. Moreover, most of the SNS research to date has utilised self-reported measures of use which can question the validity of the findings. The present study’s examination of the relationship between Instagram use, self-esteem and life satisfaction is important due to the points outlined above. Moreover, most of the SNS research to date has been conducted outside of Ireland further illustrating the importance of the present study.
'The link between Instagram use, self-esteem and life satisfaction-a correlational study'
This study aimed to investigate the relationship between Instagram use, self-esteem and life satisfaction. The participants (N=103) were student Instagram users from IADT. The participants were between 18-49 years old (M=21.33, SD=4.006) and recruited through convenience and snowball sampling. There were 31 males (30%), 64 females (62%) and 8 others (8%) that identified as neither male nor female. The present study employed a quantitative, cross-sectional, correlational design using an online questionnaire-based survey. The factor variables were self-esteem and life satisfaction. Self-esteem was measured with the Rosenberg (1965) Self-Esteem Scale and life satisfaction was measured with the Diener et al. (1985) Satisfaction with Life Scale (Rosenberg, 1965; Diener et al., 1985). The target variable was Instagram use, measured through screenshots of use across the last seven days. The data obtained from the aforementioned scales and screenshots was used to test the study's hypotheses using three correlational tests (two Spearman rank-order correlations and one Pearson product-moment correlation).
The first hypothesis stated that there would be a significant negative correlation between the students’ Instagram use and self-esteem. This hypothesis was not accepted. The second hypothesis stated that there would be a significant negative correlation between the students' Instagram use and life satisfaction. This hypothesis was also not accepted. The third hypothesis stated that there would be a significant positive correlation between the students’ self-esteem and life satisfaction. This hypothesis was accepted. These results may reduce concerns regarding high Instagram use and illustrate the importance of maintaining high levels of self-esteem. The present study was among the first to examine the aforementioned relationship using non self-reported measures of use. The present study’s results contribute important information on an underexamined SNS using an underexamined sample of Irish based college students. However, the sole utilisation of Irish based college students restricts the generalisability of the findings. This could perhaps be addressed in future research. Moreover, future researchers could examine the relationship between self-reported and non self-reported Instagram use to further the present study’s findings.