With the increased usage of social media, companies have recognized the selling power of the masses. By understanding the innate need of human beings to belong to a group, corporations can use this need as a tool, managing to simultaneously decrease advertisement spending while driving sales. With the increased usage of social media, companies have recognized the selling power of the masses. By understanding the innate need of human beings to belong to a group, corporations can use this need as a tool, managing to simultaneously decrease advertisement spending while driving sales.
In order to maintain psychological and physical health and well-being, the human being must feel as though they belong, have a good self-esteem, feel as though they are in control and have a meaningful existence. It is suggested that these needs are essential in order to achieve and maintain good psychological health. The satisfaction of these needs enable us as human beings to function at our most effective level (Deci and Ryan 2000). Our intrinsic psychological needs are what provide us with the motivations for our behaviors (Deci and Ryan 1987). Needs are essential for our continual growth psychologically, for our integrity and ethical behaviors, and for our overall well-being. They are the factors which lead human beings to participate in and contribute to activities that they feel will most gratify the needs. The desire for the satisfaction of our needs is the thing that will move us to action. Based on this premise, it would seem reasonable and appropriate to speculate that these inherent psychological needs, combined with the increased popularity and usage of social media applications, would motivate people to participate in the usage of social media as a behavior which they could perceive to be a means to a potential fulfillment of their psychological needs. The need for autonomy is a person’s psychological need to be the agent and driving force of their own life and to act in harmony with the authentic and true self. It is important to act in a genuine manner that is consistent with the true self, and to participate in certain activities not only becuase of ethical or societal norms or oblications, because one freely chooses to do so.
As humans, we have an intrinsic desire to be in control of our own lives. We tend to act in accordance to our preferences, in order to ensure that our actions reflect our true self. Additonally, the ability to maintain an element of control is what enables us to recognize the self as the true cause of action (Deci and Ryan 1985, 2000). Being in control enables us to achieve success in dealing with the environments in which we may find ourselves. It allows us to have an impact on those environments, an impact on others we come into contact with, and an impact on ourselves (Bauer and McAdams 2000; Deci and Ryan 2000). The desire to be in control is what drives people to seek out the challenges that are the best fit for their individual gifts and talents. Those who feel as though they are in control are more likely to seek out opportunities that they feel will allow them to aquire, maintain and master certain skills and knowledge, so that they can feel feelings of achievement. When we feel as though we have control over our lives, we feel a sense of effectance and confidence over our actions. Our feelings of control are the result of our accumulated interactions with our environment.
In order to thrive, we also have a need for relatedness, or belonging. The need for belonging is imperative to our psychological need to interact, be connected to, and to experience caring for others (Deci and Ryan 1991). The need for belonging encompasses both receiving and giving care. Therefore, it is the tendency of people to search for relationships that they feel will be mutually beneficial in the giving and receiving of love and care. It is important for us to experience feelings of belonging during our interactions with social partners. We seek out partners who we feel will love us, will be emotionally involved with us, and will express affection, caring, and warmth.
It is important for us to feel as though we have a place and a purpose. These feelings are derived from our psychological need to possess. The need to possess is not limited to a physical location, as it can also pertain to our sense of comfort, or finding meaning in our existence. This need is the reason why people tend to invest themselves, their energy, their time and their resources. It is also why we tend to personalize items and spaces. We do this so that we turn things from objects into something we feel can be a part of the individual self (Heidegger 1967).
Our need for self-identity means that in order to maintain optimal psychological health, we need to have a clear sense of self in order to distinguish ourselves from others (Pierce et al. 2001). Self-identity is important because it is how we define who we are, and is how we discover the thing that makes us unique. Self-identity comprises our own self-appraisal of our physical, cognitive, and emotional attributes. It is made of our personality traits, and social roles. In order to self-identify, or to know oneself, we must have self-definition and self-knowledge. It is important to define who we are in order to learn about ourselves. We do this through our interactions and explorations with our environment. Self-idetification allows us to gather information about our preferences ad skills. Social context plays a rather large role in the steps we take to gather accurate self-evaluations. By looking at ourselves through the eyes of our peers, we develop a sense and understanding of our own identity. We also come to achieve self-identity through the process of self-comparison. We compare our opinions, our values, our physical and cognitive abilities with those of our peers. Additionally, we have a need to express our self-identity to others. By communicating our identity, we are sharing the information we have gathered about who we are, and are projecting that information outward towards others. This enables us to achieve recognition, understanding and social importance. Our possesions also function as tools to communicate our self-identity. Things such as our house, our car, the awards we display, act as symbols that display our social class, personal values, and social affiliations. We also have a tendency to keep momentoes from the past, such as photographs, diaries and videos.