Seeking Validation Online: The Effects of Social Media

seeking validation online

Written by Yvette

June 16, 2021

How do you start your day? Do you check your social media account and see how many likes you’ve got for that picture you posted last night? Do you check your followers’ numbers frequently? Your life probably revolves around using social media heavily if these situations sound all too familiar. You maybe even try seeking validation online through likes and follows.

There are numerous social media sites, including YouTube, Facebook, Tiktok, and Instagram. The social media landscape appears attractive from the outside, allowing users to share their lives and interact with friends.  But in reality, the digital world has occupied a huge part of our lives that we allow it to shape our feeling of self-worth and validation. Youth, such as athletes, are also negatively affected by social media. This post explores the impact of seeking validation online and what young players can do to curb it.

Seeking Validation Online Yields Negative Impacts

It’s human nature for people, especially young people, to want to be liked and feel like they belong. Those who do not receive approval in the real world may seek validation online through social media. An individual feels more socially validated when their post receives more likes, comments, and shares.

A constant need for validation often leads to discouragement. If they receive fewer likes and negative comments, they may feel inadequate. There is no way for anyone to measure up to the expectations of others. Seeking more shares, likes, and comments can make you vulnerable to unrealistic standards.

The decline of self-esteem is not only due to social media, but it’s an environment where an unhealthy mentality can flourish. Even worse, this drive for approval on social media may become addictive, and when they don’t get the validation they need, it may lead to mental disorders.

Heavy Social Media Usage Thrives Negative Mental Health

 A heavy social media usage habit, a fear of missing out, and the desire to compare oneself to others can create feelings of worry, discontent, and sadness. As social media users strive to be socially accepted and praised, the pressure can be overwhelming, affecting their self-esteem. It’s hard to feel satisfied and happy every day when one’s connected online all the time.

The teenagers of this generation are losing out on life-changing experiences because they’re so hooked to their phones. With constant social media pressure to fit in, many young people will sacrifice what is important and what is best for them in order to feel accepted and admired, even when it comes from strangers.

Are you ready to develop your basketball skills in a positive and encouraging environment?

Finding the Balance Between the Online and Offline World

It’s not like we don’t need social media; we do. A major advantage of social media is that it has become a convenient means of communication and making connections. There is, however, a limit for everything. Our social media consumption often exceeds our limit. We lose our ability to appreciate what is happening offline because we’re only concerned with our online image.

That is why we need to keep a balance between what we do online and offline. For players, they must know what is really important: to keep their focus on the game and their ‘real ‘personal development, not their online image. Here are a few tips that can help athletes lessen seeking validation online.

Focus On Your Craft

Those who have high self-esteem are less negatively affected by social media than those who have low self-esteem.   In sports, you gain confidence when you master your skills. Therefore, rather than focusing on your following and likes, you should focus on your craft. By doing so, you will not be affected by what negativity happens online

When you find social media negatively affecting your life, you may want to consider what it means to you and how you use it. The best way to handle it is to take control. Opting out entirely is not necessary. Invest more time in a hobby or an activity offline that you see progress in.

Take It With A Grain Of Salt

Not everything is as it appears on social media. Using social media, you can easily share the high points of your life. Even if a friend’s life seems to be perfect on social media, he or she may be dealing with issues that aren’t shared. So, don’t compare your lows with another’s highs. If you compare yourself with others, it will do more harm than good to your perception of things.

Unplug and Take Social Media Breaks

As difficult as it may seem to disconnect from the virtual world, it is important to immerse yourself in reality.  Schedule specific times to log on to social media or put the phone away at night. Remember that online relationships are only a small part of one’s whole life, and face-to-face relationships are just as meaningful, if not more.  Make an effort to remain connected to friends and family offline.

Put Boundaries In Place And Practice Mindfulness

In our desire to connect and feel validated, we neglect to use social media responsibly and thoughtfully. You must set up some boundaries on your social media use for safety.

You should be mindful when sharing content online. Set respectful boundaries with others and find a healthy way to balance social media.

Recognize the value of face-to-face interaction

Social media are excellent tools for communication, but they should replace in-person interactions and relationships. Communication face-to-face requires more effort, but it much more valuable than internet contacts. In the end, it is not your digital device or social media ratings that provide you with the most comfort when you are upset. Although it’s good to have a large number of followers, it is far better to get strength and support when actually speaking with them in person.

People should value their own growth as individuals. You must stop looking online for “extrinsic and superficial” validation and innately work at your strengths. You should recognize that social media is merely an opportunity to build a social presence. It would be best if you did not let it dictate every aspect of your life. Please take everything in stride. What you see online is not the entirety of the truth. Social media should not be used to determine your self-worth and confidence.

Use Social Media Wisely To Grow Your Network

The keyword here is ‘wisely.’ Despite its negative impact, social media will continue to exist. It still remains a helpful tool for players to network and develop career connections. Social media can be an effective tool for athletes seeking recruitment to self-market and build a personal brand. Don’t use it in seeking validation online It can be quite beneficial when used appropriately. You must approach social media professionally as a player. As an extension of their own brand, it can assist them in developing strong connections. Just keep a healthy balance between the online and offline world.

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