If someone wanted attention in the past, they would have had to be around people. Nowadays, this is no longer necessary; the only thing they need to do is to use social media.
It is then possible for them to receive attention for something that relates to their own life, or they can receive attention for something that doesn’t. As a result, it is going to be a lot easier for someone to receive attention.
When it relates to the former, someone could share a picture or a video of themselves. In this case, the feedback that they receive can cause them to feel good about themselves.
If, on the other hand, it relates to the latter, they could share picture with a quote or a video of an animal. While the feedback they receive can also allow them to feel good about themselves, it might not have the same impact.
For example, if someone was to share something that didn’t relate to them, and their ‘friends’ didn’t respond, it might cause them to feel down. They could wonder if their ‘friends’ still like them, for instance.
However, they were to share a picture or video of themselves and the same thing happened, they could wonder if there is something wrong with their appearance. In this case, it could be said that there will be a greater impact, and this is because it is connected to them.
This is one reason why it is often said that someone should share more things that don’t relate to them than things that do. Through doing this, they are not going to be putting their self-esteem on the line, so to speak.
They are sharing things because they like them, and not because they are looking for a response. Therefore, if their ‘friends’ don’t respond, they are not going to be effected in the same way.
When someone is going through a challenging time in their life, it can also have an effect on not only what they share, but on how often they share things. A recent breakup can cause someone to change their profile picture.
Along with this, they could end up posting ‘positive’ quotes, and these quotes can be a way for them to regulate their current emotional experience. The feedback they receive from others can then serve as validation, and this can have a positive effect on their well-being.
The Real World
While it can be relatively easy to receive attention on social media; it is not always as easy in the real world. However, if someone is famous or even classed as being attractive, it might be normal for them to receive attention no matter where they go.
But through using social media, it can give someone the chance to receive attention no matter how famous they are, what they look like or if they are around others. Another way of looking at this would be to say that the average person can feel like a celebrity without needing to be one.
As a result of what they share, it can be normal for them to receive attention, and because they can share things whenever they want, they can also receive attention whenever they want. Yet if they rarely receive attention in the real world, it can be harder for them to handle day-to-day life.
No matter how much attention they receive, it could pale in comparison to the attention they receive on social media. They may then want to avoid the real world, and to spend as much time as they can online.
In The Beginning
At first, they may have just wanted to feel better about themselves, and then as time has passed, it could have consumed their whole life. To receive attention from time to time is then not going to be enough; they will need to receive it all the time.
This could end up being an obsession, and other areas of their life could end up being neglected. Their whole sense of who they are could be defined by how much attention they receive, and if they don’t receive it, they could feel completely worthless.
It would be easy to say that social media is to blame here; however, it could also be said that this is not something that just happens. In order for someone to be enticed, they would need to be looking for something.
If they were comfortable with themselves, they wouldn’t need to receive attention all the time. It could be said that social media can stop someone form looking into why they need attention, and from taking the steps they need to take to bring this need into balance.
It is human nature to want attention, and while someone will need a lot of attention during their formative years; this shouldn’t be the case as the years pass. Yet even though one looks like an adult, they can feel like a needy child on the inside.
If their early years where a time where their needs were generally met, their inner child shouldn’t have the need to receive constant attention. But if their needs were rarely, if ever, met during these early years, this part of them can take over, and they can then have the need to receive constant attention.
When someone experiences life in this way, social media will be the ideal platform for them to receive what they didn’t receive as a child. Bearing in mind that in the beginning of someone’s life, they need other people’s attention in order to survive, and as a way for them to realise that they exist.
Yet although one can feel like a child, they are now an adult, and this means that other people can’t fulfil their unmet childhood needs. These are needs that need to be mourned, and as this takes place, their need for attention may begin to subside.
This will allow them to develop the adult part of them, and through doing this, they will be able to give the child part of them the attention that it needs. When this happen, they are going to be regulating themselves, and this can take place with the assistance of a therapist and/or a support group.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.