“You don’t know them, they don’t know you, but they’re your friends.”
10,000 friends on Facebook, 1 million Instagram & Twitter followers, with 5 – 10 million likes generated. We all want these stats for our social media circles. But what does it all mean in the end. It doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know what to do with all this media attention. For most people, they have these social circles on the web so they can be validated for a comment or picture they post to the internet. But for those chosen few, it becomes a business opportunity to better themselves in life. There is always an opportunity somewhere, you just have to go get it. But why do we care so much about our social media following.
Let’s take a look from a business perspective. There are advertising companies that will dish out big money for people who have a massive following. And when I say massive, I am talking well over 10 million followers just on Instagram alone. Not to mention all the other platforms you have on social media. But since I brought up Instagram, there are companies that may pay $1,500 to $5,000 for a single picture posted to your Instagram account. So if you’re posting a few times a month, you can generate a really good income. The Kardashian-Jenner girls probably make the most money. It has been speculated they can make upwards of $500,000 for a single Instagram post. But that’s expected when they have 75 to 100 million followers on just Instagram per sister.
Then, there is the other side of social media. That is the idea of being validated with no monetary income. These are people who enjoy the idea of getting multiple likes on a comment. Or making what they think is a poignant statement and people piggy backing off of that statment. Instead of people verbally complementing you, we are now settling for likes. Instead of becoming a leader, we are now all followers. I always find it interesting when I hear people who have no social media. It’s almost archaic for you not to exist in this space. Yet with all this needing to be validating , what are the psychological implications of social media. What are the long term effects of needing so much validation?
For starters, social media gives people who otherwise wouldn’t have a voice the ability to voice a concern. Problem is that people tend to abuse the power and jump on the bandwagon of causes that effect the opposition’s careers. It has also served as platforms where people spread their inner most disdain and hate. Implications of this shows they are hurt and need someone to talk to in life. It has given the people with no power, the power to push agendas forward. But we are becoming more self-conscious because we are putting our physical selves out there for judgement. We are more impersonal because human to human contact is rendered obsolete. And even sex has become desensitizing because we are inundated with so much sexual imagery.
In the end, validation should come from the inside out. Too many people have become too concerned with what others think, and our own views of self have taken a back seat. From over-filtering photos so it gives you a more flawless look on Instagram, to creating profile descriptions of yourself that are not even remotely close who you are in life. We have all heard that term fake it until you make it. But the fictitious lives we lead are so over the top, that we would rather fake it and not make it. Because the look of making it has become far more greater than actually having it.