Why Do We Share on Social Media

In a short time, social media has transformed the internet and society. The likes, comments, and post we upload and share on social media tap into some of our desires, addictions, joys and anxieties. So, why do we feel the intense need to post the things we do on social media?

First, to increase self-esteem, people tend to present a self-view that is socially desirable and positive. However, this leads to a reduction in self-control. We share the content that could be seen as a reflection of the person we want the world to see, thus, keeping up a specific online identity that masks our true personalities. For example, we may share a music video to express our musical taste or we might support a politician to represent our views.

Ultimately, the more we share, the more the social media platform “rewards” us with likes, comments, and follows – supplying positive feedback. This in turn, strengthens our belief that the portrayed identity is legitimate and motivates us to continue posting for more feedback.

Moreover, teenagers and young adults greatly rely on social media websites for forming and maintaining relationships. When we engage in an online community and receive positive response for our actions, it provides us with social validation and a greater sense of connection. We often come across high-quality content that we find enjoyable and we think other people will too – so we feel compelled to share it with friends.

However, we may mistake short-term satisfaction derived from positive feedback on social media for essential long-term and meaningful work we must perform on ourselves to improve self-esteem and heighten feelings self-worth. We hide the more negative aspects of our lives causing us to unconsciously attach shame to those parts. Having the need to share our lives online and seek validation from others can lead us to neglect our own happiness.

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