Friday, March 23, 2012

Social Networks, Status, & Approval

By Pamela J. Wells

Social networks can be fun, a place to meet like-minded people or to learn about other cultures, to connect with family members who live far away, or to market your business; but, it can also be ego’s playground if you let it.

When you derive your self-worth from the number of followers you have or the number of people who like or share your posts, that is when you run into a problem. Of course, we all want people to enjoy what we post, but when we become attached to their responses and approval, it can have an impact on the way in which we view ourselves and our emotions. If we have low self-esteem or are narcissistic it will impact us greatly, but don’t let someone with an inflated sense of self fool you. Someone who boasts and brags, deep down inside, they have a little “me” who wants to be accepted and wants the approval of others; otherwise, there would be no need to brag and boast; so, low self-esteem and a big ego are one in the same. They just appear differently from what our eyes can perceive.

On social networks, such as Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, you will also see people who follow a large amount of people, but then unfollow immediately, so that it appears as though they are very popular and important. Perception is key and they use it to their advantage, but what do they really, truly, have to gain from doing that? They live on the surface level of the ocean of appearances and never dive down deep below the surface to truly connect to life and to others. When you live on the surface and the waves of the ocean, you live on the waves of your emotions, are effected by external phenomenon and never dive deep within.

The way in which social networks impact a person is dependent upon what that person is seeking from them. Are they seeking to meet new people and connect on a deeper level and not place conditions and expectations on others, or is he or she seeking to stand out, to be unique, special, to be accepted, to be approved of? 

Social networks can be fun, they can be entertaining, they can be a great place to market your business, but release the need to ascribe meaning to other people’s behavior in relation to you and what you do on these social networks, what you share and when you follow someone; for instance, ascribing meaning to whether or not someone follows you back or not, likes or shares your post or not. By all means, enjoy yourself, but leave your ego at the door.

Copyright © 2012 Pamela J. Wells. All Rights Reserved

Feel free to add a comment, if there is anything that you would like to add or any experiences that you would care to share.

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