Thursday, 8 September 2022

An era driven by validation

In search of validation by likes, comments?
Ever noticed how when you post something on social media, you instinctively pick up your phone numerous times to check how many likes or comments you might have? Or how we scroll aimlessly through our feeds looking for nothing in particular? I am guilty as well!

I heard a couple talk of  the highs and lows of parenting and how other parents made parenting look so easy with photos on instagram. Although they have come to embrace it, there are things they wish they were warned about or guided on.
Social media has a way of sucking us all in and at the same time deceiving us that everyone's life is so glossy. In many cases, we share our best moments on social media. The ability to distinguish between that and real life is key, especially in an era of such consumerism.
Think of seeing a couple so in love today, all those #couplegoals posts, then tomorrow you find that they are parting ways. I generally wonder why a couple's divorce or people having a go at each other are always so popular?

You might see someone living their best life one day, the next you might hear that the person is depressed or even worse might have committed suicide. If social media were to be used as the standard for living, life would be extremely complicated. I worry about the younger generation that places such importance on appearances, they tend to be driven by the number of likes or comments. Why should a stranger's validation matter?

Rubbish sells and in the bid to get more likes or be the first to break the next big gossip headline, quality and cross checking is overlooked. Social media seems to love flashy things; gossip, fashion and banter where people tear each other down. Sometimes it even looks like a competition of who can leave the meanest comment.

Intellectually stimulating posts receive little likes or publicity which is worrying. Research has shown any activity that requires thinking, problem solving and attention focusing may be beneficial. As we age, we experience cognitive decline, to make this slower, intellectual stimulation is one way. What does this have to do with social media? We all need some distraction and social media can be a lot of fun. However, we can easily fall into a pattern of looking only for gist and gossip. Or get discouraged when we put up posts and they don't get the kind of attention we might like. Social media can also be a great learning tool as it has all sorts. Make it work for you. 

Validation? How much does it matter at the end of the day? People use social media for different purposes but I use it mostly for fun, I do not want it to become another thing that adds pressure to my life. It is true that certain comments or likes could be a game changer especially for those who use it for business purposes. In my case, if the likes and comments come, cool. Otherwise, I just have fun with it.




14 comments:

  1. This is one of the best posts I've seen in a while. There was a time I was so conscious of the likes and comments as well. It's a phase a lot of people will go through 

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    1. Thank you Terna. And to think that I hesitated to post it...
      It is a phase indeed, until you get comfortable with not getting as much engagement as you might like.

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  2. Somehow, deep down there's that desire in man for validation. I personally think that not everyone looks for validation for the purpose of validation alone, I am inclined to believe that for some, the likes and comments is a metric to judge engagements and the reach of their work.

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    1. That's another angle to it. Those who use SM for business or work definitely have to measure how far reaching their work goes. Validation is good/normal but when we get stuck on it, it could become a problem.

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  3. A lot of us have experienced this or are experiencing it, social media can be a useful distraction but once we start leaving our lives based on the validation we get from it, there lies the problem.
    I’d give an instance, sometime last week I made a post on ig and I kept going back to the post at different intervals to check for likes, comments and how many views it had gotten, I kind of felt unseen because I didn’t get as much as I had anticipated, mind you my account isn’t a business account.
    Like you said make it work for you, social media shouldn’t be our life’s manual.

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    1. The last line of your comment summarised it well...Social media shouldn't be our life's manual.

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  4. Effectivement il faut avoir un but conscient de ce que l'on recherche en utilisant les réseaux sociaux et surtout être sensibilisé sur les dérives. Après, l'ère du numérique à profondément changé les comportements humains. Mais avoir une éducation axée sur l'accomplissement du but pour lequel le Seigneur nous a créées peut être un garde fou salvateur.
    Bel article.
    Bisous ma belle😘

    Christelle

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  5. Thank you Ene for this wonderful piece.
    Seeking validation from the SM is killing. Don't get sucked in, that is the message.

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