Social Media & the Ego

So after I blogged about (not) putting pressure on myself, writer Amanda Staley and I were talking about the ego on Twitter.

Specifically, how we would send our egos to Antarctica to live with the penguins.

But that conversation led to thinking about how social media and the ego are possibly linked, which, of course, led to a Google research session.

So there were lots. Like, really. LOTS of stuff on the link between social media and the ego, as well as the link to narcissism. Now this all did make me a little uncomfortable. I like social media. I’ve made friends on Twitter and Google+, I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends, and I LOVE the photo sharing – viewing and posting – on Instagram. I’m not an avid Pinterest user, but I go through phases where I use it heaps. Not only that, but I help out OTHER companies with their social media, and advise others (sometimes).

My favourite article was Social Media, the Ego, and the Self. It was written from a psycho-analytic point of view, and had this gem: “There must be something very compelling about social networking to achieve such rapid growth and population penetration.”

It’s hard to argue with that kind of logic. The main reasoning for this love of social media is the need for belonging and connectedness with others. From a more cynical perspective, the article says it could be about three things: “recognition, recognition, recognition.”

I think it’s a bit of both. And that’s okay. Recognition is important, but someone has to do the recognising. When I looked at it that way, I realised it’s a two-way street: as much as I seek recognition for my strengths, and help for my weaknesses, I recognise others’ strengths and help them in their times of need.

Suddenly, I am so okay with seeking recognition!

The other article I particularly appreciated was Is your ego what’s really driving your social presence? This one was good because it looked at both sides of social media (the ego-stroking AND the let’s-make-friends-and-help-people), and looked at ways we can ensure we use it in the second way.

Maybe a little of the first. A bit of ego-stroking won’t hurt anyone.

I’m just going to list the ideas of the article, and link straight to it, because I do think it’s worth reading. It covers:

  • How much do you promote yourself or your own content?
  • How much do you preach at your audience?
  • How much do you focus on being a thought leader?
  • How much do you focus on building an audience?
  • Are you building meaningful relationships and actually helping people?

And the article is here: Is your ego what’s really driving your social presence?

Have a think about it and let me know your thoughts on the topic. Is ego a big driver? Or does social media *create* ego? Or, perhaps, does ego have nothing to do with it?

4 thoughts on “Social Media & the Ego

  1. A thought provoking post, Zee, especially as at the moment I’m questioning why I blog, and am I achieving what I set out to do – and even what was it I set out to do! I agree with you, despite the downsides, (time sucking, and do the rewards equal the effort?) there are benefits, one of which is meeting good people like yourself, and forming friendships. Another is as Yolanda points out, sharing our work with others. Great post.


    1. Thanks Teagan. I honestly don’t see it as a time suck anymore. I enjoy it, I learn from it – that is enough.

      I’d like to hear what you come up with as answers to those questions. I think a part if it is that we’re ‘told’ we ‘should’ have a blog etc and so we do one for the sake of having one, which isn’t a great reason on its own lol.

      In my eyes, friendship, sharing and learning are good enough reasons, though an author ‘platform’ is a part of the reason too.


  2. Of course it’s about ego to some extent Zee but for me it is mostly about sharing my work and thoughts with others. Getting 200 ‘likes’ means very little if you are not actually touching anyone with what you write or connecting. It is the feedback and comments that I enjoy the most.:-)


    1. I agree 100% with you, Yolanda. I think I’ve just always been conscious of becoming too egotistic. Not sure why. Maybe it’s something I really dislike in others? ?

      But yes, it’s the comments, feedback, and conversation that keeps me coming back to social media sites, and to blogging.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts xx


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