Social Media is all about Ego

With regard to the effects and implications of social media on one’s psychology, it is important that we examine the way we behave in the online versus the offline world, and question our motives and beliefs that drive us to act so.

Social media do feed our ego. In fact, research reveals that 9% of the time we spend on Facebook is actually viewing our own profile page.

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Indeed, we may wonder how many times do we check our profile after uploading something? Why we do so? In fact, we are curious to see how many likes, comments or even shares we got. Facebook interactivity is what nowadays defines social acceptance, the feeling that you belong to a group of people similar to your interests, that you are wanted, desired. This is also illustrated by Maslow’s famous theory on the hierarchy of needs, where he uses the terms “esteem” and “love/belongingness” to describe the previously mentioned human needs. In a another framework, as derives from the supply and demand model, we may understand the importance of e-liking in social acceptance by the number of available applications or services offering likes, fans or followers in exchange for money or like back.

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As a result, this new perception has devastating results in people’s mindset and relationships.

Narcissism
A study of Bergman et al. (2011) on Millenials found out that narcissism is positively related to the number of Facebook friends. In another point of view, the “selfie” phenomenon, appears to be an outlet for maintaining one’s positive self-views too (Halpern et al., 2016). One way or another, the evolution of social media and the way we are handling them are aiming primarily in bringing the attention to ourselves and the level of success to that, is measured by one’s online popularity (Davenport, 2014).

Relationships
Social media have also affected intimate relationships. Jealousy is among the first reasons why couples fight or even brake up, and social media profiles account for that in a very large extend (Lenhart, 2015). Furthermore, many people seem to be stuck in checking their ex’s profiles long after the break up, causing greater distress, misery and difficulty in getting over people and situations.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Davenport, S. W., Bergman, S. M., Bergman, J. Z., & Fearrington, M. E. (2014). Twitter versus Facebook: Exploring the role of narcissism in the motives and usage of different social media platforms. Computers In Human Behavior, 32212-220. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2013.12.011

Halpern, D., Valenzuela, S., & Katz, J. E. (2016). “Selfie-ists” or “Narci-selfiers”?: A cross-lagged panel analysis of selfie taking and narcissism. Personality & Individual Differences, 9798-101. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2016.03.019

Lenhart et al., (2015). Chapter 4: Social Media and Romantic Relationships. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org.

S.M. Bergman, M.E. Fearrington, S.W. Davenport and J.Z. Bergman (2011). Millennials, narcissism, and social networking: What narcissists do on social networking sites and why Personality and Individual Differences, 50 (5), pp. 706–711

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One thought on “Social Media is all about Ego

  1. I believe too that the way that we choose to use Online Social Media today can be seen as just a reflection and a boost of our Ego. It is such a shame because they could be such a source of influence and power and most of Social Platforms users waste the medium that they have in their hands.
    During these years, when everything changes so fast and we are closer than ever to a huge pool of information, it is sad to see that the vast majority of Internet users focus their online activity in posting selfies, check-ins, and songs that are just a way to show their “luxurious and fun” everyday life.
    The pie chart that you uploaded is even more devastating, as we can see, that not only we use Social Media for socialising, but on top of that we prefer to spend our online time wondering around our personal profile than trying to communicate with other people. At least if we benefited from this “social use” by making more interpersonal connections we would say that we are managing to balance the lost time with friends and family that we do not have the time to see.
    But we do not even do that. We are only interested in counting likes, shares, and comments as you also mentioned above, and this makes me wonder if this situation can be improved or it is going only to get worse.

    Like

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