When I post something on any social media site I have a tendency to frequently check whether my post has received any “likes”. I must admit I can get quite disappointed if there are no responses to my post! Whilst that might seem strange to some people, I’m sure there are many others who know exactly what I mean.
Last week I read an interesting article on the BBC website entitled “Social media apps are deliberately addictive to users”. The article contained the following quote:
Leah Pearlman, co-inventor of Facebook’s Like button, said she had become hooked on Facebook because she had begun basing her sense of self-worth on the number of “likes” she had.
“When I need validation – I go to check Facebook,” she said.
“I’m feeling lonely, ‘Let me check my phone.’ I’m feeling insecure, ‘Let me check my phone.’”
Ms Pearlman said she had tried to stop using Facebook after leaving the company.
“I noticed that I would post something that I used to post and the ‘like’ count would be way lower than it used to be.
“Suddenly, I thought I’m actually also kind of addicted to the feedback.”
I think it’s safe to say that Leah Pearlman is not the only person who has sought validation through Facebook. I would not be surprised if sadly many of us know exactly what she is talking about if we are being honest with ourselves.
For those of us who understand and identify with Leah Pearlman’s comments we might ask ourselves the following questions:
- Why do we look to social media for validation?
- Why do we base our self-worth on the number of “likes” our post has received?
- Why do we check our phones when we feel lonely?
I don’t believe that there is anything wrong as such with social media. It can be a useful tool for keeping in touch with friends and families. However we do need to exercise self-control in our use of social media. It really does not matter in the scheme of things if no-one “likes” your post. Don’t rely on “likes” to make you happy!