Tell the truth, when you post to a social media site like Facebook or Instagram, do you feel subtle angst when others don’t like or comment on your post? If you’re keeping it real with yourself, and the answer is yes, this means you have allowed social media to cause you to ‘Ego trip’. In other words, ‘Ego Trippin’ means anything undertaken to boost or draw attention to a person’s own image or appraisal of himself. Apparently many of us have turned social networking into a high school popularity contest, and everyone is getting a high off of an ego boost, or low if their ego’s needs aren’t met. Vying to inflate your sense of self through social media is a quick fix to your ego and confidence, but long-term it can be a blow to your self-esteem waiting to happen.
Indeed there are public figures, brands, companies, and organizations that encourage engagement via social media with their followers, which is a valid reason where promotions is concerned. However, if you’re an everyday average person with no objectives in mind except for ego gratification, you’ve basically become dependent on the responses of others. When you rely on a “Like”, comment, or praise, you’re solely judging yourself through someone else’s eyes.
A well received response or feedback is great, and may be even addictive for some causing them to clamor for more reactions. The ‘ego trippin’ phenomenon has even caused people to blur the lines between social media and reality, and therefore social media has become their reality. At that point, almost everything on a site is taken personally, from a lack of acknowledgement, a missed like, or un-following. In this virtual land of friends and followers there will be a time when the hard truth settles in, and people wake up to realize that the ego boost was all an illusion. Those same hundreds of followers couldn’t careless about what’s going on with you; it actually has more to do with modern cultures intrinsic need for voyeurism. As a society we love to peer into other peoples lives, even possibly finding other peoples lives more interesting than our own, hence this ignites comparison and judgment.
“One reason we struggle with insecurity: We’re comparing our behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.” -Steven Furtick
At any rate, I can probably guarantee that most peoples initial reaction is to totally deny ‘ego trippin’ off of social media, but before you being the denial you may want to check out these 8 signs which are a great indicator.
1. Obviously, if you’re not promoting a brand, selling a product, or representing an organization, and you spend a ridiculous amount of time posting on social media you’re more than likely feeding your ego. By the way, what I’m referring to here is not the every day social media interaction. This point pertains to the intense need to be seen and heard. It’s all about giving off an impression of who you are, and what you want others to believe your life is all about. Then again, most of the time a person’s real life doesn’t match up to the profile persona that is being given off.
2. You get upset when no one ‘Likes’ or comments on a post/picture, clearly the ego is running the show. So, you have hundreds or even thousands of followers; big deal few people entertained your post, why get frazzled over it? In this case, people are relying on validation from outside sources. A perfect example of this is when it was reported that a Texas man beat his wife for not ‘Liking’ a Facebook status. As you can tell individuals are taking social networking extremely seriously. If the highlight of your day is a ‘Like’ or a comment, it’s evident you need to get a life.
3. If you have to purchase Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram followers you know you’re ‘ego-trippin’. Everyone wants to feel a sense of importance, but to go as far as shelling out cash for followers that’s a whole other story. People buy followers to give off the impression that others find them fascinating enough to follow. This act screams desperation, and is total ploy to inflate a person’s self-concept. You see some may not be aware of the scheme, but it’s you who has to deal with keeping up the mirage. And besides, it’s obvious if you go from 500 followers to 15,000 over night, more than likely you bought followers. Let’s face it, there’s no need to purchase support, if others find you interesting enough they will follow, plain and simple.
4. You post a whole bunch of half naked pictures online to arouse attention. I have discussed this before in a previous post titled ‘When Social Media Goes Wrong‘, nevertheless this is a obvious sign of ‘ego-trippin’. In essence, you’re heavily relying on the acknowledgement and validation of others, and this scenario is thirst at it’s finest. Of course, a half-naked picture will get a lot of hits! This almost makes me wonder what if no one responds to the persons attempt to garner attention, how would this make him or her feel. I can only imagine, this individual would feel a blow to their sense of self.
5. You can’t even enjoy, or remain present at an event, because you’re so busy trying to take pictures and tagging them. These are the folks that remark how much of a wonderful time that they’re having, but are they truly having a great time? I find it hard to believe, that people are having such a grand time as they claim, because when you’re in the moment you try to savor every morsel of it. Moreover, even if you capture images, you’re too busy being engaged in the moment to post them. The best advice is to remain present and live in the moment; your Instagram followers can wait for the update.
6. Anytime you post money, invoices, or receipts of your recent purchase of designer clothing or anything along those lines you’re definitely social media trippin. Quite frankly, who cares that you just spent $500 for a wallet? Clearly, this is being done for attention, or to show the world ‘look at me, I’m important, I can afford to purchase this expensive luxury item.’ You may not have come across a post like the ones I’m referring to, but it does occur. There have been Instagram pictures where people have posted a screen shot of an invoice from the Gucci purse they just purchased online. This just gives people all the more reason to be envious, and possibly rob them of these items; so good luck with that one.
7. Placing your love life on blast via the web, is another form of social media ego-trippin. The world doesn’t have to know that you and your significant other are arguing, neither is it anyone’s business. Taking your business to the streets, doesn’t solve anything, in fact, it creates more issues. In this circumstance, a person exposing their partner is an attempt to get others to side with their ego, further enlarging it. Even if the crowd sides with you, the damage is done everyone has made your conflict their business. Besides, you just shamed and embarrassed your partner, and you just caused a whole group of people to possibly despise him or her. In all honesty, regardless if you air them out, most likely the both of you will stay together anyways, so you better think twice before hanging your partner out to dry.
8. If all your posts are thought out to a T, and are calculated; the ego is demanding too much. This is in respect to the average person with no agenda in mind; this doesn’t include brands, companies, organizations, etc. Dressing up to take pictures for Instagram, when you have nowhere to go? Strategically placing things like you’re a stylist, just to take a picture? Devising a controversial post just to get a reaction? These are a few of the examples of actions that are a bit calculated. The aim here is to show and prove something to others, or possibly yourself. Every deliberate action is an anticipation of a response or validation; as a consequence approval seeking becomes the name of the game.
All things considered, whether any of these signs pertain to you, the point here is to identify the signs, and not let your online ego consume your life. Social media is supposed to be a fun way to share and interact with friends. If social networking has become your tool of choice for feeding your ego, then it’s probably time to come to terms with the fact that you may be suffering with some insecurities. With this knowledge it’s best to take the time out to build your sense of self on solid ground, instead of using a status update to acquire another short-term ego boost.
Why do you think people ego trip off of social media? At times have you taken social media way to personally? Why? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Shawna Kay ( Blissed Out Belle )
Kay is a Lifestyle & Empowerment Passionista, and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blissed Out Belle™. Connect with her on Facebook here, and follow her on Twitter @BlissedOutBelle .