The popularization of Internet use over the last 15 years has not simply caused us to connect more and more to the network of networks. In addition to using the resources we have access to thanks to this brilliant invention, many people who regularly use social networks have experienced how their self-esteem has become connected to the public image they give online.
And if there are people who notice how their well-being or discomfort depends in part on what happens on the Internet, it is precisely because we are constantly judging those behind those Facebook and Instagram profiles or similar. Even if we don’t realize it, we generate a positive or negative emotional response to the self-referential content that others publish.
We can choose whether or not to be interested in what others think of us, but the truth is that regardless of that, wherever there is a publication of ours, there will be people evaluating us, usually in a non-rational way.
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How we judge ourselves over the Internet
Below you can see some examples of the extent to which we tend to judge others based on just a few photos and status updates.
Positivity is valued better
It has been proven that people who tend to make negative publications, such as social denunciation content or complaints about studies, tend to be less valued. However, too much joy in status updates and photos generates an artificial sensation that seems to have been created to deceive others.
It must be taken into account that a person can understand a social network as a space in which to express their stress or raise awareness among others through criticism, without that saying much about his personality. Likewise, others may want to use Facebook photo albums as a collection of happy images, and that doesn’t say much about them either. However, we ignore this reflection and believe that what is on the Internet is a direct reflection of personality, leading us to reject or accept that person.
Sensitivity to boasting
We tend to show a special sensitivity to publications that can be interpreted as boasting. In fact, in general, the evaluation we make of someone is more positive if the number of publications that talk about achievements and personal qualities is reduced.
Thus, something as innocent as celebrating that we have won a karate championship causes us to be valued less, even though this is more important to us than much of the other content we have published before (music videos, memes, etc.).
Instead, things that have to do with opinions about events outside of oneself, or that occur around one, but that are not a direct reflection of one’s qualities, are seen with better eyes. For example:
Visiting the Sagrada Familia temple in Barcelona. The facade is incredible.
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Why are we so harsh on the Internet valuing others?
When we see hundreds of posts from various people on the Internet, we tend to be guided by much less rational intuitions when deciding who is worth it and who is not. That means we adopt completely biased and irrational ways of thinking without it making us feel strange.
In short, we have a large amount of information about others, but it gives few details and is therefore of poor quality; so that, our way of judging those people is also quick and lazy.
How about we use chat more?
It must be taken into account that these psychological biases when judging others through the Internet basically occur when there is no interaction: someone publishes something and the other person sees it. What happens if instead of remaining in that passive attitude we start conversations? After all, A chat conversation is much more like a face-to-face interaction.situations in which we are used to being more moderate when making judgments about what the other is like.
Some researchers believe that the solution to that kind of paranoia that torments many people afraid of causing a bad image on the Internet is simply to talk more, to show what we are like inside in a real-time conversation context. In this way, those filters that keep us away from others begin to lose prominence; We force ourselves to dedicate time and a certain effort to take part in an exchange of sentences, which makes us get involved and think that if we are bothering to do that, it will be because the other person deserves that we do not rush when it comes to judge her. Chats can be spaces of fellowship in the individualistic and fragmentary reality of the Internet.