The Urge To Share: Why We Post On Social Media

The Urge To Share: Why We Post On Social Media

Do we post on social media for others, or for ourselves?


The music is blaring from the instruments slung across the guitarist’s back and the speakers lining the stage. The beat vibrates the floor. The crowd swallows you, as they dance and sing out of tune. The night is unforgettable. You are lost, consumed by the music and the atmosphere.

You look to your right and your friend is slowly spinning 360 degrees, with her phone clasped in both hands raised slightly above our heads, as the camera absorbs the surroundings.

“What are you doing,” you ask.

Your friend is taking a Snapchat for her story.

Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are ingrained in all that we do. They are active participants of all the events in our lives. From recording thrilling concerts to snapping some photos of our morning breakfast, these social media networks are not only a part of our routine, but also an active member of our daily lives.

There is an undeniable urgency to post. We post what we are doing, how we feel, what we are wearing and who we are with. Not only that, but there is an urge to share only the best parts of our life and our identity. But why? Why do we have an instinctive reaction to share with our friends the most entertaining, the most exciting, and the most intriguing parts of ourselves, instead of sharing all that we are?

A possible reason is the likes. After posting each Instagram status, you continuously check the app for at least 48 hours after you posted, trolling for any new likes.

“Social media for me is like a lot of smoke and mirrors – proving why you’re important, why you’re relevant…When I was in Singapore, one of the clubs would book artists and had their fees relevant to what their Facebook numbers were,” said Instagram Co-Founder Kevin Systrom (Source).

Social media portals instill a culture of dependency in our society. We depend on the number of likes as a direct representation of our worth. Although as a child we are taught to be who we are and say what we feel despite the opinions of others, social media defies this notion. We use social media portals as a way for people to reassure us that who we are and what we are doing is acceptable.

“I think it feels crummy to have to market yourself all day long; the whole notion of a personal brand got very, very popular and still persists today, as people manage all their profiles,” Snapchat Founder Evan Spiegal said (Source).

The beauty of social media is that you have the sole power to market yourself in the way that you want people to see you. You can manipulate photos, captions and filters to manufacture a specific persona that you want people to see. You have the power to determine how others will judge you. Are you photogenic? Are you witty? Are you artistic? Are you adventurous? You decide the persona you have online. The power is in your hands.

There is an irony in participating in social media. We keep tabs on how many likes we get for an updated profile picture, a witty tweet or a filtered photo with friends on Instagram. We seek recognition from others that what we are doing and who we are is acceptable and admired. Therefore, we are a prisoner to the opinions of others. However, before each of these posts, we decide who we are. We have the power to be, or at least convey, the parts of ourselves that we want to share with the world, concealing the parts of ourselves that we want to hide.

My advice is to unapologetically be who you are, both online and offline. Social media is a way to celebrate all that you are, and share it with people who will love you for it. When it becomes a means to find acceptance, it’s dangerous because you are putting your worth in someone else’s hands.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 17 Black-Owned Businesses Ship Baked Goods, Rosé, And Even Fried Chicken Nationwide

Eat your way through this country's greatest food — from your couch.

Call it the easily bored Gemini in me, but I'm constantly looking for new food to try. Usually, travel quenches my taste for new and exciting cuisines, but given the fact that international travel is not always a possibility, I've begun exploring alternatives.

In the interest of wanting to support the Black community and Black-owned businesses, and also wanting to try some of the country's greatest food without having to get off my couch, I started off (pessimistically) doing research, only to find that the options were vast.

Keep Reading... Show less

24 Beauty And Style Brands Donating To The Fight To End Police Brutality Against Black People

From small, boutique brands to legacy fashion brands.

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less

22 Black-Owned Etsy Shops With The Perfect Gifts For Everyone In Your Life — Including You

Treat yourself and your loved ones while supporting Black creatives and artisans.

R-KI-TEKT, Pontie Wax, Lovely Earthlings, and blade + bloom on Etsy

The world is taking action against the injustices and under-representation plaguing Black lives, and one small but impactful thing you can do to actively make a difference is support Black-owned businesses.

Etsy is likely one of your go-to sites for gift-buying, but have you ever paid attention to which independent artists and sellers you're buying from?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments