Michele Attias Life Coach

Social Media Validation: Are You Over It?

A number of years ago when defining addictions, our thoughts would automatically divert to drugs, alcohol, gambling and co-dependent relationships.

There is however a new type of addiction that has emerged.

The addictive drive towards social media and the validation this gives the user. 

This need for validation has us reaching out for our phone, computer and ipad to catalogue our life as a way of showing others how popular we are, how slim we look and what a wonderful life we're having.

Yet we all know that life in reality is worlds apart from what is portrayed.

When we get acknowledgement or 'Likes' from posting pictures or comments, it reawakens a feeling of belonging, of being accepted and validated, therefore we continue this cycle.

There is a somewhat narcissistic element, in so much as we have bred a generation of self centred individuals who insist on having their whole life displayed on social media (I'm not just referring to teenagers).

Having people's lives constantly posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, for all to see fuels a sense of self importance.

What I find interesting is that I know of a number of people who have so little to say face to face yet are the ones posting comments, observations and their entire collection of holiday photos on facebook.  

The fact that a large proportion of people check their social media (especially their Facebook accounts) before getting up in the morning, shows the levels of anxiety this has created. 

I'm not against the concept of social media and love connecting with friends old and new.  

It's also a way to showcase my Coaching practice, however the lengths people will go to is quite astonishing. I recall a friend stating that she felt quite upset when she noticed that a picture she had posted on Instagram had only attracted a small number of 'Likes'.  

Here was a grown woman deliberating her self worth based on a random photo she had posted that had not given her a huge response.

So what exactly is she saying?

The answer lies in having an addiction or an attachment to needing validation, which of course always happens outside of us.  There is a need to use the outside world to flaunt successes, waiting for feedback from others to inform us how valuable or worthy  we are.

It's like holding up a mirror towards the outside world and taking each comments or feedback to heart.

Is it so difficult to look inside ourselves?

More importantly, is it not enough to enjoy our own photos for the memories they reawaken in us, rather than posting them on social media regularly. Thus waiting patiently for others to notice, comment and then anxiously counting the 'Likes' this has awakened.

Celebrities are the biggest culprits of this, which is probably why they were attracted to this career in the first place.

It fuels their need for attention.

For the rest of us however, it's important to appreciate the internet and social media for the wonderful tool it has become in allowing us to connect with friends and to post photos to share with our loved ones.

We should see it as a means to an end.I

It's when we abuse this and use it as a tool or barometer to inform how popular or worthy we are. It's when this becomes an attempt to elevate our status, by looking at the world to give us a star rating, that we begin to lose ourselves to social media.

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