The Influence of Social Media on Competition

The whole idea of social media is originally provided for easy access to people all around the world, whether it is a family member or a stranger. Having said that, in today’s generation, I’m not sure if this is still completely applicable. I hate to admit that more often than not, while posting a picture on Instagram, it’s more about making sure that people would like the photo than me posting it because I feel like it. Recently this year, an account by the name @world_record_egg was specially created to beat the highest liked post on Instagram by Kylie Jenner, and achieved over 53 million likes today. I found this matter extremely compelling, which is why I chose to look into Church’s and Thambusamy’s article on Competition and Information Deception in Online Social Networks.

To begin with, the article was published by Journal of Computer Information Systems, which focuses on spreading computer systems globally. It stresses on, “personal information deception among users of online social network sites.” As said by @kristenunrau5762, the target audience is to those who are “well-versed in computer information systems”. Most of the terms used were rather complicated however, everything was explained explicitly and models were provided. Hence, individuals who want to read-up on the effect of social media on competition, can understand and utilise the article.

The paper’s main finding looked into the influence of interpersonal competition on manipulating pictures or refusal to disclose personal information on social media. Briefly, the article explained this finding theoretically using Bagozzi’s model on how appraisal and emotional reaction leads to a similar coping response. He emphasised on how competitive norms, status benefits and hedonic benefits initiates interpersonal competition and often leads to misinterpretation and refusal intention.

Image result for blogilates the perfect body

Speaking of manipulating pictures on media, a famous youtuber by the name ‘blogilates’, went against the hate comments by posting a video of her self editing her own body to fit into the ‘norm’. One of the comments shown stated, “why do all trainers have a 6-pack but not you?” Hence, the act of editing herself is a representation of a lot of people who have interpersonal competitive behaviour and follow the society’s expectation to be better than others.

@leorelizur7645 points out a common theme found in the reading- a motive for competition is to gain social status and prestige. For example, Worrell et al.’s article stresses on the correlation between competition and outstanding performance. Within counterparts, there is always an urge to perform and appear better. One of their concluding statement mentions improvement of human condition when influenced by competition for outstanding performance. Connecting this back to Church’s article, people often manipulate themselves on social networking sites, to appear better than others and hence, self satisfaction.

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  1. Hello, this was a great read. I like how you connected this to examples in reality, such as the world record egg.
    From what I get a lot of what the study demonstrates is that much of the time, the pressure to distort personal information online comes from external factors (such as social comparison or the need to be the best compared to others.) I’m curious on the internal motivations that drive individuals to present distorted personal information online. For example, do you think those with lower self-esteem would be more inclined to do this? I suppose especially with the trainer example, perhaps those who have lower self-esteem or self-worth may be more prone to editing their body in order to I guess bridge the gap between their real and ideal self.


  2. @cc1218503 Thank you so much! In my opinion, the action of changing one’s personal information is to an extent, lack of self-esteem. If an individual believes in a standardised criteria to the ‘perfect look’ and edits their personal informations or pictures to ‘fit in’, they probably feel that they do not. Hence, doing so will boost their confidence as they would like to think that people are pleased by them and aren’t judging them.


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