Confession: I love Instagram. Why? Because getting affirmation from strangers makes me feel good. Isn’t that a terrible thing to admit? I slightly regret it, but it’s true. Why else would I post pictures, if not in the hope of them (me) being ‘liked’?
Seeking validation is nothing new to any of us – in fact, it’s often something we adopt from childhood. I even see it in my four-year-old son, and how he needs me to congratulate him on every Lego tower he builds, every picture he draws, every clay car he makes. Of course, they look nothing like cars, but I cry out with enthusiasm nonetheless. Because I was the same as a kid, always wanting my family to tell me I was doing a good job. My heart filled with joy when they praised my school marks, and sunk with disappointment when they couldn’t attend sporting events. What was the point of success if the people I loved weren’t there to witness it?
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