Social Media: Validation Addiction or Desire for Connection?

It seems like I am reading everywhere lately that people only enjoy social media notifications for a ‘validation fix’, attention, dopamine rush of someone “approving” of their posts. I have to argue against that a little bit.

Does anyone else out there get a ‘rush’ or happy feeling at the idea of seeing someone that you havent seen in a while? Going out and doing something fun with them? Do you think about what all you can catch up on, and the fun stuff you can do together? What food do you want to order? How long can you all hang out? Where do you plan to go? It’s been too long since you all caught up and talked!

This is more like a comfort and joy of connection, rather than a ‘fix’ of validation or approval. For example, I post many things, never expecting that many people to ‘like’ or ‘comment’. The joy I get is from sharing, even though I am sure not that many will see. The profiles I post to the most have fewer than 50 people as friends.

So next time you hear that people are posting just to make sure they get a certain number of likes, or a certain number of likes in a set amount of time for their ‘fix’, keep this in mind. Lots of people use social media for connection, communication, and interaction primarily, although all you hear about lately is an addiction or attention oriented motive.

I have even heard studies that Facebook became way more popular than MySpace, because of the increased interaction between people. That could be addiction to people’s approval, OR it could be people reaching out and keeping in touch better. If there is fun in reaching out and talking to people who are not actually sitting beside you, then maybe that is a disorder?

Otherwise, if you see someone posting selfies 24/7… I do agree, that is some kind of weird narcissistic addiction approval thing going on there.


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