The Yearning for Online Conversation

Attention. Recognition. Interaction. These are things we look for when we use social media services online. When we observe our personal behavior in life and online, there are some similarities, but also many differences. Our presence online and our presence offline seem to have different personalities and that could be because of three words: attention, recognition, and interaction.

When we are online on social media platforms, we seek and aim for likes, follows, comments, and positive interaction. This behavior is noticeable when we seek to communicate with our friends online. We look to communicate and have a positive interaction with our friends and to do so, we seek to engage in interesting conversations and use many artistic forms of communication, such as emojis and stickers (if using Facebook messenger).

I personally experienced this when I was online. I seemed to seek interaction with some people, while yearning to run away from others. I seemed to get depressed when some people didn’t reach out to me as much as I wanted them to and got frustrated if they were online a moment ago and didn’t respond to a text I had sent them. Other times, I would become desperate for interaction, as I saw a certain friend online and they didn’t contact me. Looking back at these moments, I realized I was looking for attention, recognition, and interaction. I was wanting to become a more relevant individual in my sphere of friends on social media.

I’m not the only one who experienced this. There are many young people throughout the world who undergo similar dilemmas and worries. Young people seek attention, recognition, and interaction and try very hard to create such relationships with others online. My personal devotion in having many online interactions is not unique: many others are experiencing similar situations and this is impacting their mental health in the process.

-SS

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