Do you wake up in the morning and check your Facebook? Do you check the little globe that tells you who liked your posts?
Do you read the comments underneath your post?
Do you go Instagram and check the little heart thing? To see how many people liked you?
And on and on for Twitter and everything else?
On a unconscious or subconscious level, we have been seeking validation from others since the beginning of social media.
It’s something that really started when we were kids.
The first four years and five years of our life, we just kind of bopped around, did whatever we wanted to do. We were all impulse.
Went to preschool and we kind of dug our holes, made our artwork and had fun.
But the second we went into the institution (and the institution I’m talking about is the school system), we started on the path of seeking validation.
From kindergarten on we were well aware on who was popular and who wasn’t.
When were very young, five and six, we didn’t use those words at all.
But we used words like, “Everybody likes me or no one likes her.”
Or, “all the boys really like me.”
We used these words because these are the words that kids start to use as they start the human experience of seeking approval, and becoming popular and seeking validation.
It just gets worse as we continue our way down. As we hit second, third, then fourth grade, we’re very aware of who the losers and geeks are.
And very aware of who the cool kids are and we latch onto them, seeking validation and approval.
I remember I was so happy to leave my high school. It wasn’t because I wasn’t popular at all. I was just tired of playing the game.
I was tired of talking to people I really didn’t like because they had social status and I needed to keep my social status up.
So in order to keep my social status up, I had to talk to other people with social status. I couldn’t wait to get to college, where I was able to create a whole new me.
It was wonderful. There wasn’t much validation seeking. I was connecting with all the people as I always did and I had lots of friends. And I was able to go to a party and connect with cliques.
I was able to get attention from women. I was fine. I was definitely seeking validation from girls and that affected me throughout my entire lifetime.
I’ve broken that habit, but I remember in my 20s it was all about seeking validation through women.
I was also seeking validation from friends. I figured, the more women I slept with, the cooler I looked.
I remember sharing stories in bars on beaches about a girl that I would pick up and sleep with within an hour.
The only reason why I was sharing it, if I’m being honest with myself, is because I was seeking approval. I wanted to be that guy. I was seeking validation.
But I’m no longer really seeking validation or approval at all. I get a kick out of seeing who likes my stuff, but I don’t really look at each individual person and see who they are, see who’s giving me a thumbs up or a like. Sometimes I really wish I’d get more thumbs down and creating more controversy and getting people to think outside the box more.
See, we’ve become a society of approval-seekers.
Everything we do is seeking approval. We seek approval from our boss. We seek approval from our partners.
Some of us are still working on our mom and dad issues, seeking approval through them. But there comes a time in our life that we have to stand on our own. So, here’s a thought.
The next time you post a statement or a picture on Facebook or any other social media, don’t go back and check to see who liked it or who did not. As long as you liked it, that’s all that matters.
When it comes to dating and relationships and other things, it doesn’t matter who thinks your girlfriend or your boyfriend is amazing as long as you do.
When it comes down to work, just do a great job. And you know what?
People will like the work that you did, and they’ll approve it, but you won’t care about the approval.
It’s human nature to seek approval. It’s just been hammered into us on such a deep level through social media that we are somuch more well-aware of it nowadays than ever before.
I’ve said it 1,000 times, and I’m going to say it again. Facebook is a giant high school on the Internet, and people are still trying to follow the popular jock and the popular cheerleader.
It’s like that on Instagram and every other social media. People follow people based on looks.
Just ask the Instagram models how many followers they have.
People follow people on radical, crazy behavior.
Just ask the Youtube stars that do practical jokes and get millions of people to follow them.
We’re a society that is constantly seeking validation and approval. So my advice to you? Screw approval. Screw validation. Validate yourself. Live a life of pure authenticity to yourself, and watch the happiness meter go up.