The other day I had a moment of despair; it was the grim realisation that almost none of my friends bother to read the blog posts I spend so many hours writing and editing. For awhile I have been bugging them to read, to comment and to share; to support my dreams and help me grow. I posted status after status calling for help, but my friends didn’t respond. I’ll be honest here, the frustration and hurt left me sunk deep in a pit of apathy and self-loathing- if I couldn’t even get my friends to care about what I was writing, how on earth would anyone else ever be interested? I had thoughts of deleting social media, deactivating accounts and taking a break from writing. But of course I didn’t because like all of the writers I’ve ever admired, I decided to share the experience and write about it instead.

As much as it pains me to admit it, I use social media for validation. I think we all do, to an extent. It’s not that my ego is so inflated that it needs a daily massage, but more that I like to feel as if I matter; that there are still people out there who care about me and my life. If I write a status on Facebook asking people to read my writing and leave me a comment only to receive the deathly wall of silence, of course I’m going to feel bad. Because that doesn’t validate what I’m doing. A writer with no audience is pretty pointless after all.

The thing is, when we were children, friendships were easy to navigate. A friend was a person you’d play tag with at lunchtime; the person whose house you’d visit after school. You felt secure in your friendships and how awesome you were as a friend because there weren’t any awkward social media politics to navigate. There was no feeling rejected because your friend didn’t share your blog post or like your latest selfie. It was simple. But that was then and this is now.

Now we have Instagram. And if we upload a selfie that doesn’t receive a certain amount of likes we feel ugly. We question why this flattering picture we took of ourselves is of no interest to anyone else. We look at our friends selfies with hundreds of likes, we compare ourselves and we fall short. Maybe no one is liking our snap because we’re ugly?

And now we have Twitter.  We’re making funny quips about Love Island but getting just a couple of retweets. Maybe no one is retweeting us because actually, we aren’t that funny after all.

And don’t get me started on Facebook. The one social media platform where our ‘friends’ are actually supposed to be our friends and not just a bunch of random strangers we’ve collected on our journey through the internet, and still we aren’t getting the engagement we would like.

The thing is, we wouldn’t post statuses, write tweets or upload selfies if we were not looking for something. And that something is validation. It’s why we share a huge portion of our lives online for a bunch of strangers to see. We want others to tell us we are pretty, that our dinner looks delicious, that our cat is cute, that our relationships are “goals”. If we didn’t want that, we wouldn’t really bother, would we?

And to be perfectly honest, although it’s a little bit sad seeking validation from strangers over the internet, you can kind of see why it’s important for us to feel like we matter to our friends. At least I think so, anyway.

It can be really hurtful to feel rejected, especially by a friend, but the thing to remember is, likes on a picture or a comment on a status (or a lack of) aren’t a reflection on you as a person. How other people respond to the things you choose to share does not define who you are, or your worth. Keep doing you, you’re fabulous and you owe it to yourself.

 

8 comments on “Seeking Validation on Social Media”

  1. This is so accurate and it’s incredible how a complete stranger can make or break your day with the smallest comment or ‘click’ or conversely a large dose of apathy. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in social media. You are an incredible, talented, beautiful person and no amount of likes or reblogs could ever convey just how much! Keep working hard, sharing your talent and writing engaging pieces because I absolutely love to read them and can’t get enough.

    *Clicks like*

  2. This resonated with me so much to the point nearly brought me to tears. We place so much value on the opinion & validation from others that we forget that our worth isn’t based on clicks on a computer. Own worth goes much deeper than that, it’s how we feel about ourselves & how the ones who love us appreciate & want us in their lives ♥ You my love are worth so much more than you could ever imagine & I’m glad you haven’t given up coz your writing is a gift that should be shared. Your Noblet xxxx

  3. I try my best to just write in my blog purely for myself – if others find it and enjoy it, then that’s great! If not, then I still feel fully satisfied, because I wrote the post so that I could express my thoughts in a solid format, which I achieved!

    I think it’s sad how the digital age is. I deleted all of my friends on Facebook earlier this year (believing that they didn’t really care much about how I’m doing anymore,) and not one of them has messaged me or added me back. I’m fine with that, and I feel happier knowing that I don’t have a fake comfort blanket of “friends” who don’t actually consider me to be their friends at all! Not to say that your friends aren’t your friends, but I get where you’re going with the whole situation where people stop seeming interested in what you do.

    As long as YOU are interested and happy with what you do, and as long as you appreciate the people who you know would make an effort to see interest in what you do at the drop of a hat (partner, immediate family,) then that’s what matters most! Do what you love, and people who love what you do will eventually notice. I may not know you personally, but I genuinely enjoy your writing!

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment, I really appreciate that!

      And I do agree. I would never write something just to please others – I always just write what I feel like writing or what interests me. But I think it’s just now I’m trying to do a bit more with the blog and I’m really wanting to work with brands so, page views are becoming ever more important – sad but true. Plus I’m such a sensitive person, if I feel slight rejection it becomes this great big thing that dwells on my mind. Something I need to work on I think!

      I’m sorry to hear about your friends on social media – but you are so right. You definitely do not need people like that in your life. I think I need a cleanse too, now I come to think of it!

      Yasmine xx

  4. It can be very demoralising when people don’t acknowledge your work. When you have put such time and effort to write something that you hope they will appreciate and enjoy. But you enjoy writing, and it would be a crime to give it up now because it is a part of whom you are.
    J.K.Rowling, probably had many a time when she felt unsupported, and felt like giving up. But she ignored all that and did it for herself, and the rest, as they say is history.
    Never give up on your dream you have so much potential. This bump in the road will soon become smoother.

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