Taking That Selfie Could Mean You're Crazy
A recent study found that constantly checking our cell phones could lead to “cognitive failures.” My thoughts: Y’all can leave me and my phone alone, and I’m here for a good time not a long time.
But aside from causing “cognitive failure,” what do our online habits reveal about who we are? Is posting hundreds of selfies really a bad thing? What does it say about our relationships if we constantly post pictures of our significant other? I asked psychologists and human behavior experts about some common online habits -- turns out, cognitive failures may be the least of our worries.
The Person Who Won’t Stop Posting Selfies
We all have that one friend that posts a selfie every chance they get. (If you don’t have that friend, you might be that friend.) It turns out people who post countless selfies fall into one category: extremely insecure.
According to author and behaviorist Robin H-C posting selfies can be indicative of low self-esteem and lacking the confidence to pursue dreams. H-C said that taking selfies to show people how happy you are may mean you're not that happy at all.
Tom Kersting, psychotherapist and author of Disconnected: How to Reconnect Our Digitally Distracted Kids, adds that people who are chronic selfie posters are quite similar in personality styles as there is often an underlying self-esteem issue. He says that the need to be affirmed and "liked" by others, including strangers, is a sign of insecurity. Many of these chronic attention seekers show narcissistic personality traits. Narcissists are extremely insecure and their grandiose projections hide how poorly they actually feel about themselves.
BRB. Deleting every single selfie I’ve ever taken.
That Couple That Constantly Posts Pictures of Their Relationship
It’s Monday, and that girl from high school just made her boyfriend her #MCM for the 157th week in row. I’ve heard that couples who constantly post pictures of each other aren’t really happy. But maybe they’re just really really obsessed with each other?
Turns out my first assumption is true for a lot of people.
Behavior expert Richard Daniel Curtis said the need to constantly express your affection implies that the one you love is always on your mind. This can be for two reasons - the first being happiness and love, the second being that they are thinking of the other person constantly due to feeling insecure and they are seeking ways to reassure themselves or their partner.
H-C said the relationship may become more about maintaining a perfect image. When a couple is posting constant photos and posts, the intention is to offer a distorted image of their relationship. She adds that couples who are fulfilled don’t need to share a play by play of their lives.
Welp. There’s that.
People Who Post Photos Only To Delete Them
Have you ever stalked someone’s Instagram page and realized they only have 17 posts? You know something’s up ‘cause they post at least once a day. Then it becomes clear; they delete pictures after they post them.
How am I supposed to show my friends how hot you are if you keep deleting your pictures?!
Psychotherapist Tom Kersting says this boils down to approval. Typically, when someone posts a photo and deletes it, it means that the photo didn't get as many likes as they expected. This causes worry for the person who then must scramble to take down the photo. A person with a healthy sense of self could care less about likes or the perceptions of others.
H-C describes those who delete pictures after posting them as people who second guess themselves. There is an increasing concern with people's attitude being dictated by how many likes they receive. Though these people may feel a lift momentarily when they receive a ton of likes, it rings hollow.
Listen, I don’t care how it makes me look, if my post doesn’t get at least 500 likes, its coming down. (Kidding.) (Kind of.)
Those Ghost Followers Who Don’t ‘Like’ Any of Your Posts
I can think of five people off the top of my head that follow me on social media and don’t like any of my posts. Why follow someone if you’re not gonna show them any love?
Psychotherapists Tom Kersting says there are two scenarios here:
1. The person who is following someone isn't addicted to social media and doesn't have the time or desire to scour through everyones photo's and like them; there is no pressure on their end. They’re often self-secure with themselves and don't have a clue that not "liking" a photo can actually hurt someone else. To them, this is superficial and petty and doesn't make any sense.
2. Many people are voyeurs, meaning they spend a lot of time looking at other people's content as a way of seeing how they measure-up. These types will often purposefully not like a photo or post because they will feel that it takes away from them or that it gives the other person the upper hand. These people are also insecure.
Our social media habits can say a lot about who we are, and in some cases more than we’d like. Next time you’re inclined to post on Instagram, think of these words from behaviorist and best selling author of Life’s in Session Robin H-C: I guarantee at the end of your life you won’t be thinking back on your social media accounts feeling as though you accomplished something meaningful like you would if you wrote a book, started a business, or knocked something off your bucket list.