Facebook, Twitter and Our Self-Esteem
A recent study by Harvard University provides insight as to why we use Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. The study focused upon understanding why people actually are addicted to using these sites, and are more than willing to share their every moment, thought, and action on such sites. The results reveal that when we basically talk about ourselves on social networking sites, we activate the same part of our brain that is activated when we eat food, get money or have sex.
This study shines very important light on how we as individuals like to talk about ourselves, because the study also suggests that when we talk about others on these sites, the same part of our brain gets activated. According to this study, self-disclosure seems to be the inherent reward for having spent so much time on these sites.
A very quick conclusion which can be made by analyzing this study is that collectively, we are lacking self-esteem. Self disclosing and self-praising ourselves in an effort to get people to know more about us points to a serious lack of self-esteem. Collectively we are perhaps showing a common attitude that we want to be loved- we want people to know about us. The article, by Deborah Netburn, shares an interesting story of how a criminal was caught due to his bragging about a crime on Facebook.
This tendency to brag also shows that, deep down, we want to be connected with each other, and we want our dear and near ones to know different and probably hidden aspects of our life; however, we lack the courage to express such things orally. Our fears and guilt probably may not allow us to share something face to face with people, and therefore we wish people to know us through social networking sites. Another possible aspect is lack of communication between us as we tend to rely or spend more time on such sites rather than communicating face to face. Face to face communication can yield much more effective results than sharing every bit of our lives on social networking sites. These lasting and more effective relationships can be established when we express ourselves face to face, because a picture says more than what 140 words on Twitter can reveal about you.