Have you ever considered how much of our self-confidence depends on likes nowadays? Digital communication is meant to shrink distances and connect people from different cities and countries – to help them keep contact with their friends and family. Unfortunately, it can also work in quite the opposite way. We all agree that Internet cannot replace face-to-face communication but we can’t help but seek attention online. We long for all those precious likes and shares.
Is this problem really that BIG?
The question can bring up many hypothetical and theoretical speculations, so we decided to conduct some research and rely on the data. Our study confirmed that: social networks really do solve a lot of problems, but simultaneously create new ones.
Here are the findings of that study:
Are likes the new standard of self-esteem?
It turns out that one-in-ten social media users lies online to impress friends, acquaintances and even strangers. Sometimes they pretend to be somewhere or doing something that might not be strictly true. Moreover, for popularity many social media users can disregard ethical standards. For example, they are ready to post a photo of their friend in an embarrassing situation. Just for likes.
Revealing something confidential about their friends, employers or co-workers is — as we were surprised to find — not taboo.
What’s interesting is that, in the hunt for likes, men are ready to go even further than women. Aside from posting embarrassing photos of friends, men are also OK with taking the risk of posting their own embarrassing photos. Men also get more upset more often should their posts get less likes than they had hoped for, or if their significant others forget to like their posts (24% men vs. 17% women).
How does the hunt for likes influence our daily life?
We live in the rapidly changing, highly technological world. Having the ability to get in contact with family, friends and colleagues online anytime, we miss the opportunity to see them in person. People admitted that they now communicate less with their parents (31% of respondents said so), children (33%), partners (23%), and friends (35%), because they can see and communicate with them via social media.
In addition, the hunt for likes influences our family life. For example 21% of people admit that relationships with their children were damaged when the latter saw their parents in a compromising situation on social media. As we mentioned earlier, people eagerly post something compromising them to get more likes – so it’s a never-ending circle!
Parents seem to be less quick to judge: only 14% of them admitted that they were annoyed by their children’s online behavior. In addition, around 16% of people said that relationship with their spouse or partner was damaged by a compromising post.
What should you do?
Half of our respondents are sure that social networks do not damage the quality of their relationships, on the contrary, Internet makes them feel even closer to their family. It can be true. At the same time Media Psychologist at the University of Würzburg Dr. Astrid Carolus warns that people cannot always evaluate their online communications objectively. That’s why we recommend one simple thing: Remember when you last visited your friends or parents. If it was several weeks ago, maybe it’s high time to pay them a visit. Go to them, bring some pies and say that you missed them. That’s all.
Another thing to consider is how important social media are for you. Do you hunger for more likes? Do you check Facebook several times a day to see if there are new reactions?
Our research shows that 58% of people feel uncomfortable and upset when their friends post photos of them that they never wanted to be made public. So here is our third tip: always think twice before posting anything online. You don’t know if this post brings robbers to your home, or if another post hurts your friends’ feelings.