Social Comparison Orientation Influence in Social Media

Date:  2021-03-11 09:39:59
7 pages  (1738 words)
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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Social media has played a key role in determining the perceived differences between the cultures as they manifest in the observed responses to the impact of social media posting. In particular, although individuals may conceive the social media and Facebook posts similarly, there are certain discrete differences that appear between individuals from different cultural backgrounds. For instance, there has been a discrete cultural difference between the Chinese and the Japanese cultures as far as the social interactions are concerned. The findings of this study produces a justification on the manner in which Social Comparison Orientation influences females using Facebook based on different cultural backgrounds as well as the impact this aspect has on their own self-esteem. In particular, this study examines the female individuals drawn from Chinese cultural background and their counterparts from the European region whose cultural provision experience sharp differences.

In particular, female students from China and Europe use Facebook at different levels and purposes though the ultimate purpose for both groups is to reap the maximum social interaction benefits. However, the ultimate goal of using Facebook by the two groups is mainly for social interactions although it eventually forms the basis for comparison between the two. In this regard, when the two groups upload their images on the social network, such images are subjected to varying levels of critics which also form the basis of establishing certain levels of convictions about their abilities and public image. This may constitute the source of low or high self-esteem on the different individuals sharing divergent cultural backgrounds. Females that compare themselves with others may experience low levels of self-esteem (Durkee & Brunner, et al. 2012). Besides, there have been established relationships between social comparison orientations and the use of Facebook as a social network on female students. Using the Facebook platform, females who compare themselves with others on Facebook experience low level of self-esteem based on their divergent cultural backgrounds.

1.1. Culture and Sources of Self-esteem

To examine social comparison functions in diverse cultural context, it is very essential to comprehend the manner in which culture may create some consequences in the social world of the involved individuals and the self in particular that this study seeks to evaluate. For instance, the European culture has some distinct differences to the Chinese Culture although it may comprise of some shared assertions. Research within the field of cultural psychology is mainly driven by the believe that both psyche and culture complements each other while individuals actions may have certain discrepancies with regard to particular assumptions that it holds in a cultural context. Indeed, culture may be expressed as a set of organized system of practices and beliefs or the artificial component of the social world. Culture in which an individual grows in may define their social orientations to matters of self and others. For instance, the Chinese culture may define their perceptions towards different food items that may be outside their local offers and the same is true to their European Counterparts (Bamford & Halliwell, 2009). The mind is also considered at the same time as the creator or a product of culture. Hence, an individual may not exclusively understand the psychological self-devoid of understanding the ultimate culture of their own existence.

One of the fundamental perspectives of cultural psychology is the manner in which individuals construe selves that differs sharply across different cultures. This implies that the self-construal may vary from a loosely dependent to an independent nature. The independent perspective is often perceived as unique, bounded and even separate from others as well as their surroundings. As participants in individual cultures on independent selves tend to exercise value on personal agencies and personal freedoms and choices, this defines their social positions. On the other hand, independence means that actions arises from personal traits and are products of being unique from others (Li & Kirkup, 2007). Individuals that are more independent also tend to believe that they control their personal outcomes which leverage their circumstances.

Interdependent self however emphasizes on individual inherent connectivity with one another as well as the established harmony in their social relationships. The agencies involved in these cultures are however defined critically as a perspective of being and conducting self in a global context that is basically tied up to other individuals while the social obligations are highly valued. This apparent difference in construing self may form an important framework in finding the essence of cultural differences in sources of self-esteem (Hildebrandt & Greif, et al. 2008). As a result of these divergent perceptions of individuals, culture may also influence the manner in which individuals not only evaluate but also maintain the self. Culture dictates the manner in which female students in both China and Europe perceive themselves as far as their distinct images are concerned, an aspect that may derail their respective self-esteem within their own cultural backyards (Durkee & Brunner, et al. 2012).

Majority of the contemporary research into self within the mainstream social psychology has concluded that individuals generally maintain self-enhancement motives which imply that they crave to raise positive feelings about selves. In particular, research also shows that people also tend to enhance self-perceptions which are more positive relative to their perception about other individuals believing that they have more controls on certain events or situations that the circumstances warrants. This also leads to a scenario in which they hold optimistic beliefs concerning their future. This may also be characterized with overly perception of self-image as being unique compared to their counterparts (Stapel & Blanton, 2007). With advances in technologies and the discovery of the social networks in particular, the platform upon which this comparison is perpetrated in has been mainly within the social media.

People also tend to retain a perspective of self-serving bias including a sense of uniqueness with regard to domain of self-abilities and skills and a false perception on personal opinions. Positive self-perception is also associated with high performance as well as higher psychological well-being. Research in this field however shows that such well-known findings may be subjected to constraints as a result of culture. Majority of self-enhancements also influence different cultures at different levels and perspectives. For instance, in a Facebook posting analysis involving female students from Canada and their counterparts in China, it was found that the Canadian students were considerably reluctant to accept a defeat in terms of being less distinct by virtue of their image compared to their Chinese counterparts on the same issue (Karpinski & Ochwo, et al. 2013). This means that the Chinese female students are relatively acculturated to accept defeat and negative expressions of self-worth and crave to perfect it compared to their counterparts in the European region and Canada in particular.

Similarly, through a sampling review executed in US and China indicated that biases within the context of self-evaluation may have certain differences moderated by culture. In the US context, individuals are more likely to associate success evaluation to their lives as opposed to failure. The opposite is observed to be true in the Chinese context in which self-evaluation is found to be grounded on both aspects of either success or failure that leverages individuals self-evaluation at similar perspective. The Chinese respondent are perceived to be highly sensitive towards potential problem or otherwise the negative traits about oneself unlike their US counterparts who tends to be sensitive exclusively on the positive aspects. In China, there has been a correspondent of Facebook, a social network called Rehren which is a Chinese Social Networking site. Facebook influence was very high on the Chinese that at one point in time in 2009, the Chinese Government had to block the use of Facebook and virtually restricted this use to a few individuals only within the Harvard scholarly segment (Tsai & Lee, et al. 2011).

This proposal therefore creates an exploratory review of the different influences of culture on the use of Facebook between the Chinese and European female students who shares distinct cultural background that leverage their different stance. This proposal may therefore create a sound basis for future quantitative study. The exploratory study generated hereon is very essential for the clarification of other emerging theories that are associated with the cultural impact on the responses generated towards divergent use of Facebook and other social sites. In order to generate the ultimate desired results from this study, this paper examines the contextual differences between Chinese and European cultures that are essential in defining their responses to Facebook posting from each end particularly, when a comparative analysis is done by each group regarding their own images. Some of the critical assumption that guides this analysis includes:

Females who compare themselves with other females have a low self-esteem.

There is a correlation between social comparison orientation and Facebook use in females.

Females who compare themselves with other females on Facebook will have a low level of self-esteem.

There are ethnic differences in terms of the self-esteem of females using Facebook to compare themselves with other females.

1.2. Theoretical basis: Social Comparison

The ultimate objectives for the purposes of self-esteem have daring impacts on the way in which people compare themselves to their peers within the social spheres and social comparison in particular is very essential mechanism through which individuals can achieve the basic sense of self-esteem. The social comparison theory asserts that there is an existing natural human sense towards evaluating their opinions and abilities. The human social nature also implies that behaviours portrayed but other people frequently provide an important reference point in self-evaluation (Butler, 2000).

In particular, when individuals evaluate themselves without clear standards as the basis of evaluation, social comparison may be very important. People often compare themselves and others within the social world in order to evaluate their positions as individuals. Most researches on social comparison within the cultural contexts that promotes independence have been guided by a particular assumption that individuals are mainly motivated to undertake social comparison in manners that promotes their perceptions towards self or their respective groups.

From the classic Self-Evaluation Maintenance Model (SEM), individuals often evaluate themselves relative to others through two main processes namely; comparison and reflection. In particular, the observations of imageries posted on Social media network (Facebook) by both the European and their Chinese counterparts also forms the basis upon which the individuals experience a sense of comparison as they not only reflect upon self but also compares with their counterparts from different cultures. In particular, culture also defines the modes of dressing which may have an...

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