BY Nekundi Erasmus

I am no expert at anything but I am quite content that there are platforms made available for anyone to express his or her opinion or take on matters of interest. Provision of access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs and other social media platforms has facilitated and allowed everyone across the globe to have a voice. Thus, I am glad that I also can share my take on certain and selected matters. And it is all thanks to the freedom of speech and expression that we have in our country (Namibia).

I feel compelled to touch on the effect (s) of the “like” button on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs etc.) when it comes to the development of self-esteem; acceptance and the feeling of relevance among others. The aforementioned social media platforms do have a “LIKE” button which I call the “Supper Button.”

I call it a “Supper Button” due to its powerful ability to either build or destroy a person’s self-concept and perception.  I mean, it is so interesting that we post a status or picture of ourselves on, for instance Facebook and we will be constantly checking our gadgets just to monitor the number of people that are “liking” it and see if it is increasing or not. And it is arguably that many of us social media users feel good when people are liking what we post. And when we feel good about it, it consequently to a great extend contributes to our self-esteem, self-concept and self-perception.

We need people to like our pictures on Instagram and Facebook for us to feel relevant and socially approved. Because I can argue that if one uploads a picture on Instagram or Facebook and no one liked it, believe you me, a lot will have their ego and self-esteem bruised. They will be wondering with confusion kutya why is no one liking their post? They will be skeptical whether people still like them; whether they are still relevant and approved. But the key question is, do we really need people to like our post for us to feel good about ourselves and have a positive self-concept?

To have our posts, especially the pictures to be liked has become a major thing that if editing our pictures and make ourselves look more like Beyonce or some famous superstars, is what it takes to win a good number of likes, then so be it. And as soon we start to see the number of people that liked our post increasing, then we start to feel good about ourselves. And it is precisely because of the above-mentioned points that a lot of people have two identities now. I mean, on social media the person reflects a true definition of beauty, love and happiness whilst it is quite the opposite in reality.

Well, to conclude and back to the real matter at hand, let us ask ourselves this. Do we really need someone to like our post (s) for us to feel good about ourselves, develop our self-esteem, feel relevant, approved and fit in social media cliques? Because I strongly believe that if that is the case, then we earnestly have a problem. When our self-concept and self-perception is getting to be highly shaped by a “like” button of social media, then we genuinely have a problem.


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