Selfies. Match.com profiles. Forum comments. What do they all have in common? They are all about feedback—means to obtain sustenance for starving egos. And aren't we all starving, or at least hungry to some degree? Of course we are. Basic human psychology. The Internet is a wonderful arena to witness this phenomena manifested in full force.
Match.com profiles. Why do we create them? Maybe we want to meet someone. Or maybe we just want to get winks—little nods of approval that reassure us we are desirable to others—even strangers. Strangers who we don't necessarily find desirable ourselves. If they are hot, well that is a bonus, but not a necessity.
People post selfies for the winks as well. They don't do it to share a milestone or a sentimental moment. They do it for instant approval—feedback. Especially when these pics are the same type of pic over and over again— just the face looking into the camera. Same face. Same expression. Never changes. Do they want the same compliments each time? Faces are static. A pic of a face is not something that needs updated every day. It is not a dynamic idea or opinion. It is nothing new. There is no novelty to it. See a face once, and that pretty much satisfies most people's curiosities.
I believe that people who post selfies are erroneously thought to be secure with themselves—at least their looks. I think it is just the opposite. They are very insecure and need reassured that they are OK—often. Some need their fix daily. They get instant feedback when someone comments on their pic. Nobody is going to say something negative. The polite thing to do is to say something nice. Or say nothing at all. If they post a text comment, they may get negative feedback. That is a risk. A pic is the ticket to instant approval online. It's quick and easy. In contrast, writing something takes time and effort. And there is no guarantee anyone will read your words let alone comment on them. And even less a guarantee that they will make a positive remark.
People rarely fawn over written words, unless of course the writer is super witty. And there are a few of them out there, no doubt. I have seen these writers who write for an audience, 'hold court.' They produce the goods which earn them quick nods of approval from their 'fans.' Online comedians are no different. They post jokes, amusing videos, and images for the same reason—for approval. No one is immune, really. Everyone is an egoist. Because everyone has an ego. And we all want—need—to be noticed. No one wants to be invisible. And so, we all try to get attention by different means—by getting profile winks, posting selfies, writing witty posts, or posting funnies. Some even crave attention so badly that they misbehave as a means of getting attention. Seen this in action many times on Solo. It is a spectrum. Some need lots of stroking. Others need less. Where do you fall on the continuum?
No matter what the means, the end is the same—positive feedback. We are presenting something we want others to judge. But we only wish to be judged kindly. Do we really want the truth? No, we want the version of the truth we need to hear. Negative criticism would defeat the purpose, wouldn't it? It is not about wanting constructive criticism to grow as a person—to possibly better ourselves. It is about getting our egos stroked.
Stroke me, stroke me...
Thanks Steve for being my muse out on the forum. Your thread inspired this blog post.