I have a cousin who starts to get nervous immediately after she posts an item. If she does not get a comment within five minutes of posting, she will frantically phone me up and tell me all about it.
“Did you see my picture?” she says.
“Why not? I just posted it. Why can’t you see it?”
“I’m in the middle of a cemetery without my laptop.”
“Well, I need you to look at it. ”
“Why, honey? What’s wrong?”
“No one commented on it. Not one person said anything about it. It didn’t even get a ‘like’. Should I delete it?”
“Why would you delete it?”
“’Cause no one likes it. It has been seven minutes and no one has written anything yet. I think I’m going to delete it.”
“Honey, do you like it? Because that really is the only validation you need.”
“That’s what it is. I want validation that it is okay. And that people like it. Oh my God. Amy just hit ‘like’. Okay, I guess I’ll wait a little longer. I’ll let you go. Bye.”
We have the same conversation, with slight tweaks, often. She might implore me to hurry up right now and tell her what I think of it, and if it is stupid or awesome or lame. She is addicted to the emotional perk every time somebody likes or comments on the things she posts. She always wants another hit. Validation is the drug, the Internet is the rush and Facebook comments are the high.
Researchers found that neurotic and extroverted people tend to upload a higher volume of photos than the rest of the population. The key difference: While extroverts’ uploading activity usually comes in the form of new cover photos for their profile, neurotics are known to upload more photos per album, according to a report from Live Science.
It’s all about popularity. People are vain, narcissistic. They need to be looked at, heard and praised. They strive to prove they are part of something larger than themselves, but truly want that attention for themselves. It’s a to feel wanted, admired, and that your little life hasn’t gone unnoticed.
I don’t think it’s all bad. I believe that social relationships are best when people are sharing wonderful aspects of their life. It counters the news, where all we get is the bad. But, I do believe, the average Facebook user gets more from their friends on Facebook than they give to their friends.
So I guess my 650+ current “friends” are fortunate that I was not on Facebook during my perfectly easy and fantastic childbirth. I would have made everyone feel bad about themselves, and for that I am so very grateful.