I have to start by saying that I love Facebook, and Instagram, and in fact the act of “liking” others’ lives has become somewhat of a hobby of mine. Social media, however, and all those little thumbs-up or hearts or +1s that come attached, has built a funny new habit in the way people interact with their own self-image.
We have begun to act out of ourselves, I believe–watching our image as it waxes or wanes in response to the validation we receive from others. It’s a funny thing, right? But here’s a prime example: Half of you who are reading this right now are probably doing so out of my own bumptious self-promotion on Facebook: “Come read my essay thing I wrote that shows how smart and well-grounded I am!” And now I’m nervously trying not to think about the amount of people who might do that because I’ve fooled them into believing me and the amount that might not because they know better. That’s how social media works. And that’s how social media encourages us to work.