How Social Media's Growth Makes People More Self-Centered

Social media only started to become popular in 2003 when Myspace was first created. It began to grow because it was something new that the world hasn't seen before. Although the internet was still limited at this time, it was only going to grow and enhance over the years. Facebook was the biggest thing for a while, next to Twitter, then Instagram.

Now in 2019, there are many apps used by kids as young as the age of eight to grown adults. Social media has seemed to take over a lot of people’s lives. According to Statista, about 80 percent of people have had social media accounts since 2016 and with the way, technology is continuing to grow, it will most likely increase as well.

 

In the past few years, Twitter and Instagram have become an important part of people’s daily lives; from posting about what they're doing, selfies or pictures of where they're at, memes or anything political. Now there's an endless possibility of what can be posted online to get everyone's attention. (To read more about how technology is changing us in this generation, check out this article by fellow HC at WVU writer Madelyn White.)

As the media has become more popular, people are more invested in how many likes or retweets that they get online to determine how they are viewed by others. The more likes that you get means that more people like you and the more people see how well you are doing. There are some users on Instagram such as Kylie Jenner, that believe having the most followers means that they are doing better than other people. However, how do these two things correlate? There is no relation between the number of likes on social media and how many friends you actually have. It is just something that has become more popular as social media has become more popular. Famous influencers, like Jenner, have millions of followers that keep track of what they are posting and doing.

While it is now normal to care about your posts and pages on social media, many still view those that are invested in the number of likes they are receiving on a post as self-centered. Being self-centered is having so much interest in yourself and mainly focused on physical appearance more than anything. With social media, the purpose is to express ourselves through our posts. W. Keith Campbell, an American social psychologist, states that we use these accounts to “look important, look special and to gain attention and status and self-esteem." While we believe that it is making us look more important, Lisa Firestone, a clinical psychologist, believes it is doing the exact opposite. She says in her article, “The trouble with this aspect of social networking is that nearly everyone presents an unrealistic portrait of themselves.”

It is obvious that on apps like Instagram, only pictures are posted and the majority of the people on these apps post pictures in their best outfit, their makeup and hair done and looking happy for everyone to see. Everyone cannot be happy 100 percent of the time, but social media tries to make the audience think otherwise while posting only things that show the best things going on disregarding the bad things happening because they want others to believe that.

As social media will continue to enhance with the technology that also continues to enhance, the number of people who revolve around social media will increase. Our lives in this day and age are revolved around social media, so it will only be likely that the number of people using social media will increase over the years. This will only make people care more about what to post on their pages and care about the amount of attention that they are gaining from it.