There are some obvious answers. Other motives go way deeper into the meanings of existence and human interaction.
Business Marketing and Social Media
Businesses marketing needs to use social media to stay competitive these days. The days of letting your fingers do the walking have given way to fingers doing the clicking. Even the local mom and pop stores in the neighborhood have Facebook pages now. It’s about establishing a brand name and gaining a online reputation. For those who are service providers, it’s essential to establish your authority in your field. While you may not have a book on the shelves or articles in print publication, having content posted online can be equally effective in establishing your credentials and image as a leader in any given area.
Personal Networking and Social Media
There are more complex reasons behind personal social media engagements. Some are related to business motives. Others can be boiled down to a basic human need to connect with another human being. None of us likes the feeling of being all alone in the world. Whether we use site likes Facebook and Twitter to stay connected to distant friends and relatives, or play a popularity numbers game through a certain number of friends, likes, and followers, it still is a way to avoid experiencing loneliness.
Not all posts through social media channels are updates on someone’s daily life or links for entertainment value. There are posts that genuinely seek to promote worthy causes, help others, etc. However, what motivates a person to share informative content in a public forum? Isn’t it a way to feel good about oneself, through gaining the recognition of others for being helpful, caring, knowledgeable, and so forth? This leads to the question of why the opinions or thoughts of others matter to us. Now we’re back again to the basic premise that no man is an island unto himself. We need to be connected to others, and rely on them to an extent for our self-esteem and self-worth. Hopefully, we don’t allow others to define us too much.
Effects of Isolation
I’ve read that there’s an area of the brain, in the back of the head, near the base where it connects to the spine, that atrophies with lack of human interaction. This has been cited as one of the reasons people will seek negative attention if positive attentions can’t be gained. Prisoners isolated in solitary confinement sometimes go insane. Newborns won’t thrive without contact with another human being.
Some of us may live cocooned lives, barely ever leaving the house. However, I suspect that those who do are unable to live without a phone or computer. How comfortable are you with being alone? How much do you care about what others think of you? Could you live on an island like Tom Hanks in the Castaway movie and not talk to a soccer ball?