The 's Hierarchy Of Needs And The Self Verification Theory Of Psychosocial Behavior
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Human beings have been “posting” information about themselves and their lives to an audience of their peers long before the advent of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) and Social Media. Used colloquially, the verb “post” describes the act of displaying or submitting information through a digital medium (Random House Kernerman Webster 's College Dictionary, 2010). However, within the context of this paper, I will be using the term in a much broader sense, as in “to affix (a public notice or bulletin) to a post, wall, or the like’ or ‘to bring to public notice by means of a poster or bill’ as in ‘the notice was posted on the wall’ (Random House Kernerman Webster 's College Dictionary, 2010).” First, I will establish that the use of symbols as rhetoric is unique to humans and are the medium and purpose for communication. Then, through an examination of the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the self-verification theory of psychosocial behavior, I will explore the correlation between humankind’s need for recognition by asking three essential questions. First, “What are the similarities, if any, between digital postings, such as through CMC on a Social Network Site (SNS) compared to pictographic posting on a cave wall or other analog medium?” Second, “What needs do these forms of social expression meet with regard to self-verification theory and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?” Lastly, how has the evolution of communication technology changed the pattern of self-expression from pre-historic times to the modern era?”
Communication as Rhetoric
The beginning of any successful query is establishing a solid foundation for the pursuit of knowledge. The foundation of this paper is communication as rhetoric in the sense that rhetoric is ...
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...that despite the passage of more than 200,000 years and the exponential increase in the sophistication of communication technology, humankind has consistently posted messages with strikingly similar content and themes. Due to the basic need for safety and belonging as identified by Abraham Maslow as well as our biological compulsion towards self-verification as explained by William Swann, Jr., the persistence of our inclination to share information to a larger audience about our experiences and observations remains constant. When viewed collectively within the context of both analog and digital social media posting, these components support the premise that there is a direct systemic correlation between ancient pictography and contemporary computer mediated communication on social media sites, or, in other words, the more things change, the more they stay the same.