Random Thoughts

Why Do People Seek Validation From Social Media?

All those who have born and brought up before the internet era had a different life. They weren’t dependent on gadgets. Never had FOMO (fear of missing out). Stories were never told via Alexa and parents were always considered the best knowledgeable people. Now, we are in a developed world. The era of convenience, where everything is available at your doorstep. But as we know every single thing has a dark side of its own. Even the best things in life might have some greys. The internet era is no different. Since then we have moved to the new age life where we can’t think of ourselves without a smartphone or scrolling through myriad options in a fraction of a second, we have inevitably moved our control to the Internet or so-called social media which has become a major part of our lives.

There was the time of Orkut when we all connected digitally and felt happy to see friends and relatives with whom we have lost touch. And meeting them frequently is a far-fetched dream. We shared our life, random pictures and all those minuscule pieces of information which could bring joy. Those virtual compliments made us feel good. Since cyber security was never a threat, neither posting pictures brought some kind of moral boosting of any kind. Then began the era of Facebook. Adding Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and the list is endless.

In these years we have come a long way and each of us has some life beyond the stark reality. The life of social media. We post our emotions, pictures, good times, bad times, travel stories and document each day through them. But most importantly what matters the most is the reaction of others. How they perceive you and accept you as part of society. Good comments always work like boosters to your own self, the negative ones pull you down. Then, there is the troll army who have every single reason to outcast you. Anyway, such things do happen in the real life. We face it each day but with known faces and not strangers. Not to mention, most of the things we do in our life aren’t taken well by each and everyone but we keep moving on.

The other side of social media is hitting hard and turning dark. We have come to the point where we seek validations, approvals and things which might need some private space. Last month someone in my family shared one Instagram account of one girl. Our old family friends with whom I haven’t met in the last two decades. The little girl was the daughter of the boy with whom we would play cricket during our childhood. At first, I couldn’t imagine that the open Instagram account is for a ten-year-old girl who was behaving like an adult. Sexualising herself in reels like an adult. Make-up, dressing sense, body language and what all. I was in disbelief and wants to know why she needed such things at a tender age. I genuinely felt bad for the child for not living their childhood and slipping into a fake life of reels and appreciation. I could imagine the hurt psyche of a child seeking validation at such a young age when they have to be innocent before getting hit by the adolescent. And the worst part is she isn’t alone who is doing this. The entire social media is full of such acts where young children are portraying themselves as the most demanding adults which is gender-neutral. We, adults, are not behind in this race! The Internet has made everything readily available.

But why do such things develop or do we get addicted towards them each day?

Do we really need validation for each work we do in our life?

What do we want to show and prove to anonymous people?

How does it matter even if you aren’t posting and living the moment?

I don’t know If I can answer it well. Maybe or may not. Considering close observation on social media and talking to different sets of people in real life has made me wonder about a lot of aspects. Such validations have no positive impact on real life, rather it pushes you to depreciate yourself. If you think some random person telling you that you look beautiful in this dress doesn’t mean you weren’t before? Or you weren’t confident enough to wear it? An anonymous account abusing you for no reason might have his/her own sense of insecurity by looking at you as happy and content.

Social media is full of validations. We seek it every moment. Every day. About looks, the way we work, our success stories, emotional traumas and what all? I believe life is all good until you know how to use your social media but not the opposite. The moment social media begins invading your personal life, it’s time to think. and act accordingly. This might rob your personal space and peace of mind for no reason.

I’m no expert to prove my readings but the real psychology works behind these validations is insecurity. It could be anything. A traumatic childhood, abusive relationships where healing isn’t done right. The scars were left open. The emotional vacuum never gets filled up. And could be myriad reasons why insecurity has settled deep and triggered you all the time. As we grow old we learn how to work with our emotions. we think we can manage all alone, amidst the chaos. But deep down our insecurities keep grilling us hard at every level. We react more. We go berserk on social media or maybe in real life. The anger issues reflect. And we lose control of ourselves. A little trigger and we never know what we could do in heat of the moment.

On the other side, a lot of people find solace when they vent out on social media. The very belief of getting out of judgements and avoiding open wars helps them to stay afloat. Sometimes, anonymity keeps you intact by venting out everything in the veil of lost identity. There could be a time when they’ve genuine reason. The life they are living is hard or maybe the most compromised which curtails their freedom. Social media seems to be the easiest escape from confusion. Another aspect is reassurance seeking. This means you’re doubtful about your life. Your appearance and every single thing you’ve done, and by seeking validation from strangers make you better in life. But do you attain peace?

If we see ourselves then we anyway face a lot of judgements each day. From day one when we learn how to gauge the world around us and absorb emotions, to react or not to react. To be precise, we learn maths and science but we don’t learn how to manage ourselves. Our own emotional quotient is always at loggerheads. It’s easy to sway with anything but difficult to keep grounded. I feel the only way to improve such situations is to introspect and see the gaps. It’s only us who can fill it and no one else even in their best form. We are the ones who should know how to channelise our energies and thought processes. Feel the confidence in you. Everyone is different with some sort of qualities. The moment you’re secure internally you won’t find anyone worth validating your own existence. You set your standards high where no judgements shake you for a while. And you do not care for anonymous appreciations and validations. because you’ve raised your level high. Beyond reaction and confusion!

Perhaps, this is an individual journey and you need to sail it alone and the real people in your life make the most of it!

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