At this very moment, as you read this, millions of people have just shared some minute detail about their life with millions of others. Every second of every day there are Tweets, Facebook updates, Instagram images and a host of other social media activities that document our daily lives. But is all this constant updating healthy?
We are driven to share things and broadcast our lives due to some fundamental psychological reasons. The most important of these is our sense of self. We need to know who we are as individuals, if we are to operate effectively in the world around us. Imagine if you woke up one day and had no idea whether you wanted a cup of tea or a glass of milk; or if you had no idea if you liked to eat bananas or not. Our sense of self enables us to know, instinctively, how to behave. We know whether to have a cup of tea, whether we like to eat bananas or if we prefer Bollywood to Hollywood.
However, our brain needs constant reminding of our sense of self. It tends to forget if we don’t feed it with regular information, confirming the kind of person we are. So, every day we do things that provide confirmation of our sense of self. When you are with friends, for instance, and your subconscious is thinking, “I’m a wi y person”, you will make some comments that get a laugh. That laughter acts as feedback to your brain effectively saying, “I told you so, I am wi y.” Throughout our daily life, our brain gets constant feedback to confirm our sense of self.
So, when we see the opportunity to get even more feedback on who we are, we grasp it with both hands. Tweeting, posting on Facebook, or adding a picture on Instagram all help us gain more feedback through comments, shares and likes.
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