Maslow's Hierarchy of Facebook Needs
Maslow’s pyramid illustrates the stages that human motivations move through as we satisfy increasingly sophisticated psychological needs. The most basic needs are at the bottom. The less urgent but still important needs are at the top. Previously, a couple of 100-level PSYC papers would have been necessary to truly understand this illuminating psychological theory.
Now we have Facebook.
The lowest level of Maslow’s hierarchy consists of the basic physical requirements for human survival. The inhabitants of this tier are yet to develop enough cognitive function to engage in even the most basic abstract thought. Statuses chronicle their daily trials and tribulations as they grapple with adequately feeding, sheltering, resting, and hydrating themselves.
Once an individual’s most basic needs are satisfied, he or she seeks security of body, employment, the family, health, resources, and property. Those stagnating in this tier utilise the status update function to show off their latest material acquisitions and air the dirtiest of dirty laundry.
After safety is established, the need for a sense of belonging to a social group arises. Lavish albums are devoted to the fact that this person enjoys the fleeting caress of self-confidence and self-worth only when surrounded by those who affirm their life choices by dressing and acting exactly like them.
After belonging comes the desire to be respected and valued by others – a need for recognition, importance, and attention. This results in the usage of Facebook to post statuses that are designed to win the envy and esteem of their peers, but only serve to highlight the person’s intense insecurity and craving for approval.
Once esteem is achieved, a person can recognise and realise his or her full potential, becoming the best they can possibly be. To reach this level, a person must master each of the previous needs. There is no recorded instance of a fully self-actualised person ever posting anything on Facebook.
This article first appeared in Issue 8, 2013
Posted 5:13pm Sunday 21st April 2013 by Anonymous