According to Merriam-Webster, vain (adj.) is defined as being “too proud of your own appearance, abilities, achievements, etc.“.
So does social media link to being too proud of your own appearance, abilities, achievements, etc.?
The short answer: I think not. But it certainly is an avenue that can fuel the vanity you already house in you.
Sharing is Caring
The point of social media, I’ve come to learn, is to share. Humans love sharing – whether it’s the mundane or actual thought-provoking content (even misery), when your interest has been piqued and your emotions have been stirred, sometimes you just want to pass it along. You can take a picture, sum it up in 140 characters, elaborate in a long post, video it, or pin it.
After briefly reading a rant about how social media is “bad”, it got me thinking. And it’s obvious the writer of that rant is completely unaware of the tool’s power and positive influence. Social media doesn’t make you do anything. YOU do something with your social media.
Let’s Take a Closer Look
What’s on your time line/profile says a lot about you. Unfortunately some of us are slaves to our insecurities. And it is in here that we develop a deeper need to share, every little personal detail with the intention of garnering feedback, to restore our sense of self-worth (read more about that here). It happens in such a way that it can equate to vanity.
Sounds like a simple explanation and conclusion? Not exactly. There’s something a little extra that’s needed to be called vain on social media. I think this lies in the frequency of sharing attention-seeking content. After all, one can’t possibly be described as vain or attention-seeking when sharing the news of their academic achievement, wedding day, new car/house, or other noteworthy accomplishments.
So if you’re constantly sharing content that’s all about you (you and more you), there’s a little something to think about now.
Tread Along the Safe Side
If you’re afraid of becoming vain (a congratulations is in order, firstly), assess why you’re sharing what you’re about to:
- What kind of message are you sending across?
- Is this something you want to see/read about someone else?
- Will it be ignored by people who are looking for interesting and engaging content?
- What exactly is it telling your followers about you and that event?
If it’s fun, sweet, extraordinary, educational, or engaging, you’re safe! And you’re most probably a pleasure to have on any social media platform. 🙂