Although social media sites are effective in providing an outlet for self-expression, the endless quest for online attention has affected our standards for relationships and, more broadly, our interactions.
Algorithms for sites such as Instagram and Facebook are designed to show the best content to the most people, placing more emphasis on the amount of likes received and users reached than genuine connections.
Much of today’s media is founded on the premise of rapid consumption; Snapchat, for example, gives users a few seconds with a photo and asks them to immediately respond with their own. The sense of urgency associated with response has carried on to our personal lives.
Lately, it seems as though some of us have forgotten that the most essential skill in communication is listening. We are so focused on bringing our own input and experiences to the conversation that we forget to take time to process or empathize, giving rise to what feels a lot like narcissism.
The gratification that comes along with a record number of likes, or a few validating comments from friends, has led to an increase in the use of social media as a tool for self-promotion.