On Internet Validation

Personal validation – it’s an important thing. As much as you may like to say that you aren’t affected by what people think, you really are. Oh sure, keep your mask of indifference on in public, but you can go ahead and nod your head yes while reading this post privately, with maybe one single tear gathering in the corner of your eye, knowing that I am right.

Technology has brought validation to a whole new level. Before, you’d know that somebody thought you were funny or had a cute handbag or a cool red scarf because they’d see you and tell you. Now, we have the facebook. The pinterest. The twitter. Like. Share. Retweet. Follow. Pin. Repin. RETWEET! UNFOLLOW! FOLLOW! PIN! PIN! LIKE! REPIN! Strangers can appreciate your humor or your style, and you can track it, which allows you to obsess about it. This OCD isn’t a great thing, and I know it… however, when I pin a few items to my Pinterest boards and check back later to see that a few have been repinned many times by people I don’t know, I’ve gotta say… I feel good. I’ve done well — I have impressed people I don’t know and will never know. I like good things; the internet strangers say so. I want to eat good food that other people also want to eat. The pictures of cute kitties that I like are so cute that other people also like them and want to share them with their friends.


So, what’s the point? If I tweet something that gets 10 retweets, who cares? That, I’m not sure of… but I suppose that I kinda care. I mean, not in a HUGE, way, but in a way that’s like “oh, yeah, that’s cool that 51 strangers that saw this also like it now after I posted it. Hm, neat” (while hiding deeply away the OMG OMG OMG excitement rattling around in my brain). All I know is that it doesn’t really affect me in a “real life” way — Mom still will ask where did I find that nail polish I’m wearing (and not in a good way), and people will think I’m an idiot while I’m babbling to myself in the beer aisle of the grocery store about which beer I REALLY want right now, and they’ll still think that even if I did get 12 new twitter followers that day.

While maybe it’s not a great thing to base your self-esteem solely on what strangers think of you, it’s definitely not a bad thing if a bunch of strangers like you, right?

Thanks, internet!