Dale Carnegie said, “If you tell me how you get your feeling of importance, I’ll tell you what you are. That determines your character. That is the most significant thing about you.”
I was reading a blog post recently about the transition to a “Social Economy” (click here), and it got me thinking about how central social media has become in our society.
There’s tweeting, and re-tweeting, hashtags, trends, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, WordPress, etc. – our social “reach” is expanding exponentially! And there’s always a camera recording someone somewhere at sometime doing something.
Then it’s posted so others can “enjoy” it. But is it really posted for the benefit of others?
The “postee” obsessively tracks “likes,” “comments,” “re-posts,” “views,”, “shares,” and “re-tweets.” People brag about their “stats.” Some delete their posts if it doesn’t elicit enough “likes” or “views” quickly enough.
According to William James, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” (italics mine) For lots of people, social media feeds that craving.
For many, this craving to be appreciated is fed by posting meaningful moments online; these people enjoy others’ appreciation of their special experiences. For others (and, fortunately it’s a small number), this craving to be “appreciated” is fed by being mean and nasty to others on line; they seem to revel in the size of the hornet’s nest they create.
For too few, this craving to be appreciated is fulfilled by contributing to others; they delight in the growth or success of other people.
The growth of social media is a huge opportunity for us to intentionally uplift others. In our social media interactions, by consciously focusing on the good, and telling others about it, we make our virtual world (and our real world) a better place to be.
It’s our choice.