Jordan Schmitz1,Nina Adanin1, & Dr. Matthew Symonds1

1Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, Missouri

The influence of social media on individual identity and self-worth is becoming increasingly apparent as society advances, particularly among college students. Identity and value shifts are particularly prevalent in young minds. Young adults are influenced by social media in an intricate manner as they develop their thoughts and actions. As a result, it is of great importance to explore how social media affects identity and self-esteem concerning sports and exercise in this diverse population. PURPOSE: This study examines the influence of social media on the athletic identity and self-esteem of Division II collegiate players, recreational athletes, and nonathletes. The purpose is to learn of the relationship between social media and two mental wellbeing concepts so as to help readers better adapt to students and athletes' needs, helping them to become more successful in their present and future careers. METHODS: A total of 221 undergraduate and graduate students from Northwest Missouri State University were categorized into Collegiate Athletes, Recreational Athletes, or Nonathletes. A survey was administered which measured athletic identity (AIMS), self-esteem (RSES), and social media engagement (SMES) as well as the extent of their sport and exercise pursuits. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics in Jamovi. RESULTS. A significant negative correlation (r = -0.243, p < 0.001) was between social media usage and self-esteem which indicates that increased social media usage is associated with decreased self-esteem. A significant negative correlation was also found between self-esteem and gender (r = -0.226, p < 0.001). In comparison to the other groups, Collegiate Athletes exhibited higher self-esteem and athletic identity but lower social media engagement. Linear regression showed a significant decrease in self-esteem for those spending 3-4 hours daily on social media (p = 0.040). CONCLUSION. As an individual’s daily usage of social media increases, their self-esteem tends to decline. This information begs concerns about the broader implications for the self-esteem and identity of individuals as usage of such technology continues to increase. Additional research needs to be conducted to further understand the relationship between social media usage and athletic identity or the lack thereof.

This document is currently not available here.