Feb 05, 2020

Social Media and External Validation: The Pitfalls

by Lisa A. Romano

codependency external validation social media
Brene Brown has stated, “I carry a small piece of paper in my wallet of the names of people whose opinions matter. To be on that list, you have to love me for my strengths and my struggles.”

The world has become taken over by Social Media and while I believe the POWER to connect with people from all over the world is purely magical, I can’t help but acknowledge the DARK side of social media as well.

When our entire reason for living comes down to who and how many people like a pic or a post we post to a social media site, we’ve crossed the line. Social media can be addicting and if we are not careful, we can lose all sense of balance while participating in online forums. From political and religious differences to stalking the ex or to being stalked by the ex, to family feuds that get hashed out on virtual forums, the FEAR of what other people think is EVERYWHERE.

It is important to make sure we CHECK ourselves and we don’t lose all the hard work we have done to heal from CODEPENDENCY by failing to exert some truly grounding common sense strategies.

Before you post to social media, first ask yourself a couple of questions,

“What is the reason for this post?

Am I looking for validation?

Am I trying to control someone else’s viewpoint?

Am I ranting and hoping to feel seen?

Am I encouraging someone?

How will I feel if NO ONE likes this post?

Will I be okay if someone does not like this post?”

I love what Brene Brown offers because it has the potential to help us all remember what is important vs what is NOT important. Everybody out there has an opinion, but not everybody’s opinion should matter to you. The people in your life who accept you as you are and expect you to be nothing more than your imperfectly perfect self, are really the only ones who should really matter to you, in terms of their opinions of you. But, on social media, we all know how easy it is to get CAUGHT up in a negative comment someone leaves on one of our posts.

If you are brave enough to use social media, make sure you know why you are using it and make sure you are not falling into the bottomless pit of what I call the double V—Virtual Validation.

Social Media is awesome, but it should not be what we rely on to feel good about the self nor should it have the power to DESTROY our PEACE of mind.

YOU ARE ENOUGH whether you get 10,000 likes for that adorable duck face pic you posted of yourself in front of that duck pond near your house or you don’t.