Social validation is not something new to our lives. We have been a part and a consumer of social validation in accordance with our needs and timings. If you are a user of the internet, you have been a victim of this sought of validation already. When we are daily users of the internet and in continuous use of social media, we often make judgments based on certain choices in relation to what we see. People tend to waste so much time on the internet, trying to look like someone or be someone that they almost forget to enjoy the aspects of their real life. Today from clothes to any virtual games being played online to even any important news, everything we do or talk about in our social media handles has a certain aspect of validation. Sometimes when we are unsure about any choice, it is a tendency or in today’s time, human nature to look upon the internet and find someone or something to influence our choice.
Even when we see recommendations on the internet, maybe of a Netflix or Amazon series, we are more likely to watch that show just because someone else is watching. In one way or another, people are losing their capacity to judge. From going to nearby a coffee shop to buying a makeup product, we are influenced by other’s choices which are shown on the internet which mostly are outcomes of paid sponsorship.
But if we see try and look beyond the usage of the internet, are we still likely to be influenced by other’s choices? The answer is yes. Since birth, we only learn the use of products which are given to us. Our elders and guardians mostly influence us by the word of mouth and we tend to believe it because of it the amount of trust we vest in them.
But when it comes to social validation, we do need a certain sought of gatekeeping to make us realize where to draw a line. Otherwise, surfing the internet will only influence us in ways wherein the process, we might lose our own individuality.
The unsaid anxiety with the virtual world
Every teenager in the process of growing up loves the idea of getting their first phone, having to download all the latest social media applications, and making their accounts in the same. But the fun fact is, no one really talks of the unsaid anxiety that comes with the use of using all social media networks.
Suppose you like to dress up and put pictures on your Instagram or post covers of songs in your Facebook account thinking you have a good voice, how often it is that you wait for someone to like or comment? How often does it make you feel that you are not good enough when people don’t comment and tell you that you are? How often do you feel that you have to take something down from your social media cause you are being judged? Very often, right? This constant urge in us to make use of our phones just to check or stay updated with the validation we get on the internet can cause serious damage to our health. Research even says that this sought of social tension increases our screen time and is most likely to not give our brains any time to rest. We get more affiliated with physical and mental health issues.
There is always this fear of missing out which makes us constantly shuffle through our phones. Sometimes it can be related to what our favorite celebrity is doing or what are they wearing or maybe what is trending or even the hashtags. There is the development of a constant urge to know everyone and everything. This sought of behavior influences our individual choices and preferences and promotes us towards things we do not even need. Sometimes people tend to go out of their way just to buy a certain product just because that’s been trending. This urge of social validation can toxic both in monetary and emotional terms.
As individuals, we should know where to draw line between a need and a want. Social media influences us in ways we do not even realize until it’s too late. As living beings, there is always this urge in us to be appreciated by everyone which almost forces us to go out of our ways at times. But this can never be a healthy approach on an individual level. This approach to be as desirable as what the Instagram models show us is nothing but deceptive. To search for reality in a virtual world can lead us towards endless dark tunnels from where there probably is no way out. Our comfort lies in the real world. We need to talk and comprehend more of what we see in person than what is shown to us by the internet.