In the beginning, it could be said that people generally used social media to get in touch with their friends and family; the people who they actually knew. But as time has passed, this is no longer why a lot of people use it.
As for the people who only use it to stay in touch with their friends and family, it is likely to be no different to how it was when they first started using it. Now, they might notice that the site they use no longer looks the same as it did or that others use it differently, but that could be as far as it goes.
If one only added people who they knew when they first started, there is the chance that this is no longer the case. Even if they have only met someone once, they could still end up adding them to their ‘friends’ list.
When this takes place, they might only be thinking about how this will have an effect on how other people perceive them. For example, if one has a certain number of ‘friends’, they can end up being seen as popular.
What this can then show is they are more concerned with how they look than they are with connecting to others. This doesn’t mean that they won’t talk to others; it just means that it is unlikely to be their priority.
And if one has this approach when they go online, there is a strong chance that they have a lot of ‘friends’ who are just the same. In addition to this, it might also be important for them to look right in other ways.
The Perfect Life
What this can then mean is that they will want other people to believe that they live the ultimate life. As a result of this, they are going to have to be very careful when it comes to what they share.
It will be vital for them to share pictures where they are having a good time, and being in exotic locations will also help. If one looks as though they are enjoying themselves in a warm country, it can be normal for people to believe that they lead a good life.
The Right Image
Along with this, one can also have the need to look right, and this is going to be relatively easy. Not only can they choose what pictures to upload; they can also change how they look.
Through using the right angle and the right light, one can take pictures where they look their best. Once this has taken place, one can make a few major or minor changes to the images.
In this sense, it might be accurate to say that when one uses social media, they are putting on a performance. This is their stage, and they are choosing to be someone who has their life together.
But like someone who acts in the real world, they are not going to be able to truly connect to anyone when they are playing a role. Who they are has been put to one side, and their needs are going to end up being unmet.
When one has this approach when they go online, it is likely to show that they have a strong need for approval. If their ‘friends’ don’t give them the kind of feedback that they need, they could end up being in a bad way.
However, this doesn’t mean that this is the only way they will come across when they are this way. For one thing, one might not try to create the impression that they lead the perfect life, and they might not even edit their pictures.
A Number of Ways
One could receive the approval they need through posting funny videos or memes that make people think about the world differently. What this shows is that one is not going to need to rely on their appearance and neither are they are going to need to travel all the time.
And as long as they have some kind of device, it can allow them to receive approval whenever they need it. It is then not going to be necessary for them to delay gratification; they can fulfil this need instantly.
A Closer Look
When it comes to the people who behave in this way and the people who don’t, it is clear that there is a big difference. What this can show is that the people who do need a lot of approval are emotionally dependent on others.
As they are unable to handle how they feel, they need other people to regulate their inner world. But this is not the only thing that can be involved here; they can also be in a position where they haven’t got any close friends.
If they had people around them who they were close to, they would be able to receive the approval and the validation they need from them. And through having the ability to regulate their inner world, they wouldn’t depend on other people to do it for them.
The reason one doesn’t experience life in this way and looks towards social media to give them approval can be the result of what took place during their early years. This could have been a time when they didn’t receive the kind of care that they need in order for their brain to develop in the right way.
The ability to regulate their emotions wouldn’t have developed, and this would have stopped them from feeling comfortable enough to reach out to others when they need them. Ultimately, no one is their own island, and this is why human beings need other people.
But when one doesn’t receive the right care, it can set them up to be dependent on others, or to go the other extreme and become extremely independent. What this emphasises is how important it is for children to be brought up in the right way, and for there to be help available when this doesn’t happen.
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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.