When you login to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc… what is the real reason you use such a tool?
To market your business?
To develop relationships?
To find former classmates?
I’m going to pose what I’m examining as the real reason, the one reason we all use social media tools… in the form of a thought question:
Could the whole reason we use social media be to validate our own existence from a variety of perspectives… and NOT really to connect at all?
(e.g. I’ve got MORE friends/followers than you do, so I use social media to validate and publish that fact)
So I’m posing the whole reason, the one reason we’re using social media has to do with only one person, ourselves. I’m not sure if vanity is the word to describe it, but it seems to apply.
- Excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.
- Denoting a person or company that publishes works at the author’s expense: “a vanity press”.
conceit – futility – vainglory – pride – arrogance
This does explain some of the use of social media on a personal level, doesn’t it? Even if you don’t want to admit it.
But in order for this to hold true, we have to prove the business case for social media. So why do businesses use social media?
To market, to connect, to distribute information? Or, does vanity play a part in the reasoning? Are business owners using social media to validate their business’ existence?
I suppose if a business got enough “likes,” or could get enough “likes” on Facebook, that would serve as a form of validation… although the profitability of that validation might still be in question of course.
But the second definition of “vanity” could apply here.