The Psychology of Social Media
Social media has taken over our lives. It is safe to say that as a society we like to share content with the online world. Sometimes this means we share things on social networks that we wouldn’t necessarily share with people on a face-to-face basis. Take a moment to take this is: in a single minute we send out 277,000 tweets; share 2,460,000 pieces of content on Facebook; post 216,000 new photos on Instagram; and upload 72 hours of new video to YouTube. To really get to the heart (or brain) of social media let's explore the psychology of sharing. Here are five key reasons why people share via social media channels and how this information can influence how and what you choose to post!
We all have a desired version of ourselves that we want to project on to the world. The best way to do this is through social media either by posting images of ourselves at our best or writing posts about all of the good things we are doing. This can even be influenced by the posts and pictures you choose to share as you create a social ‘ideal’ portrait of yourself.
Maintain Social Relationships
By nature, we are social creatures and we are naturally inclined to make and keep social relationships. Given the hectic nature of our lives and the small amount of time we have spare to participate in socialising, social media provides an excellent way to stay in touch with friends and family. Even the simplest things like sharing or tagging a friend in a post you think they will find interesting or funny is a way of reaching out to that person and engaging with them.
Chance to Win
Sadly, we are all guilty of sharing or ‘liking’ a post for a chance to win something or for a discount code. A large number of us who have ‘liked’ a page will never visit or view that brand again after the gimmick has ended.
Having our posts and photos commented on and ‘liked’ is the ultimate social validation and offers a greater sense of self-worth and being connected with people. When we post something and it doesn’t receive any interaction it can leave us with negative self-esteem and as though we don’t belong.
This ties in nicely with the need to be socially validated. How many of us share content on social media that we believe will attract some sort of interaction from peers? We share funny posts for laughs and controversial status’ for debate; whatever we choose to share we do so to gain interaction.
Key Watch Outs…
- Don’t share too much personal information.
- Try not to air your arguments on social media.
- Remember you are worth more than how many likes your last post received. When you are about to share a post or pic think “would I want my grandparents to see this?” if the answer is no, don’t post it.
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