Have you ever gone on social media, scrolled through your timeline and saw something that only you thought would ever be funny? Or have you ever liked or visited a page of interested and suddenly started seeing more of the same things on your times? Social media is the center space for connecting and feeling connected with the rest of the world, or community, or just things that make you feel all within you’re your realm of happiness. To know that “you are not the only one who feels that way” and seeing people who speak, feel, and see things how you see them is what causes that connection with social media. But there are many factors that play a part in this so called connecting that everyone feels when they log into the world of social media. Social validation is basically someone that needs the validity of their social peers in to like, agree or give some sort of positive feedback (to their liking) about their lives and daily routine. People who typically need this social validation are those with low self-esteem and they need others to validate their feelings and emotions. Some people depend on the likes of others and by likes I mean that literally as in “liking” someone’s post on their profile, not to mention depending on how many followers they have, the more the better. In the defense of “social validation” it can increase one’s self confidence if they do receive the positive feedback they are aiming to get however if they don’t reach that personal goal it could do the exact opposite and deter one from pursuing social media over all. The social media desire is to basically have that human connection with other people in the world (Root, 2017).

Another factor is finding people that share similar values or having an emotional connection to other people. When people share the same values and experiences it brings a sense of comfort to the other person knowing that they are not alone in whatever experiences they’ve had. Having someone to talk to about their experience that knows how they are feeling and how to deal and cope with certain situations is very important to us as humans. It’s actually pretty interesting to find all of the different people who share the same feelings and values as you do.

The concept of Homophily

Homophily is the tendency of individuals to associate, share and bond with similar people and things. In social media, homophily is like a network and the influences in social media encourage others to feel connected which can result in new friends and interests.

Platoform algorithms and Homophily

Business wise, algorithms are crucial and understanding them is even more important. Receiving content that you actually care about, meaning things that interest you such as clothes, food, gadgets, whatever tickles your fancy. For platforms like Facebook their algorithms are based on these things:

1. How often you interact with this type of post

2. How often you and everyone else have hidden the post

3. How much you engage with each post or page

4. How many reactions, likes follows or comments the users have left for the post.

Instagram is pretty recent with their algorithms but from my own personal experience there’s a lot of work to be done because their algorithms leave room for spam accounts to request to follow you and if you’re account isn’t private they can follow you immediately. They follow you based on one post of page you liked or started to follow. Instagram bases their algorithms on relevancy, meaning, you like post from a page or you start to follow a certain page, it signals other pages like it and you either start to see their posts on your timeline or you get follow requests from pages that are similar to the page you started to follow or like (Agrawal, 2016)

Some algorithms are beneficial because you’re on your page you see an ad pop-up for something that you just liked and then you’re like “how they know that?” But others can be annoying (Instagram for instance) and you just want to throat chop whoever monitors them.

Agrawal, A. (2016, April 20). What Do Social Media Algorithms Mean For You? Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2016/04/20/what-do-social-media-algorithms-mean-for-you/#36c27ad6a515

R. (2017, September 7). Factors That Contribute To Feeling Connected To Social Media Read more at: Https://beat.10ztalk.com/2017/09/07/factors-that-contribute-to-feeling-connected-to-social-media/. Retrieved from https://beat.10ztalk.com/2017/09/07/factors-that-contribute-to-feeling-connected-to-social-media/