Many people use social networks in order to make themselves known to both itself and its products, services and talents and thus create a public professional identity. To do this, networks allow the transmission of information and activities in a controlled and selective.
However, when this public exposure is not selective or controlled, usually it means that the user of the social network has a psychological need to "be connected" all the time and indiscriminately publish information about their daily lives.
This reality and problems on the external reinforcement (comments and Likes) to the image and identity has a greater effect on teens and tweens, which are in a stage of basic construction of personal identity.
Advantages that can find users of social networks
- The non-contact contact network facilitates relationships and communication in people with low personal resources and difficulty in social skills, even excessive and inappropriate manner.
- It allows to reach others without socially involved without risk, because there is no direct reply. No approval or silence, but there is rarely criticized by the people that publication ( "Friends") addresses.
- The reaction of others is measured quantitatively through comments or Likes.
- Communication enables images replace words or emoticons, so that information is less elaborate and the user does not expose their subjectivity directly but calls the imagination of the other. It is "becoming visible without risking being criticized."
- The main social networks can meet various needs: Facebook power over the social aspect, Instagram Twitter body image and intellectually.
Personality characteristics in social networks
From the point of view psychological , it is not easy to fit these behaviors of public exposure of personal life in a basic or pathological personality type.
The need to be connected all day and tell the intimate and daily life of excessive and inappropriate form could answer a narcissistic personality type or a dependent personality type. The narcissist is visibly characterized by a "love" and conceited of himself, but constantly needs to reassert and highlight to others, pretending influence to dominate and be valued. On the other hand, dependent personality is characterized by difficulty to feed themselves psychologically and configured with an identity. So, you need support and reinforcement from others and has a predisposition to depend on the response of others. Such dependence is manifested in the use and frequency of the medium as the message.
Self - esteem problems in social networks
Behind the public display networks, people often hide a marked need for evasion and fill gaps in their lives, if "someone to someone". They also tend to be people with difficulty interacting in the real world, in his inner circle, which often foregrounds the need for approval by others.
At the end of the day, everything that we present in social networks betrays us every publication shows our anxieties, defenses, wishes, approvals and reviews about ourselves.
Be aware of comments or Likes publications promotes self - esteem based on external point of view, the external reinforcement. Real self-esteem is more responsive to "Who am I?" And not so much "How do others see me?" As it develops and thanks to the personal effort is maintained and goals achieved. What comes from outside, without effort or emotional ties, could foster narcissism.
Consequences of misuse of social networks
We could say that social networks exert a high influence on those who rely too heavily on them. Those who build expectations of response from others as get good score, Likes, compliments and comments ... The fact no response or have negative can mention to undermine his image and identity.
Also, when the messages and do not respond to the desire Selfies communication and entertainment and foregrounds the need for approval, the person will receive more exposed to negative or even abusive comments, which are likely to be damaged self - esteem.
In fact, this excessive and inappropriate exposure often favors rejection of the group, which can generate an opposite effect: the failure to be accepted goals can produce anxiety, compulsive behavior, unhappiness and neglect of daily activities.