Posts tagged: submission
Showing that we haven’t been alone in the past is a way of ensuring we won’t be alone in the future. People look at loners and think on some level, sometimes rightly, that there is a reason they’re alone. They could be dangerous and hurtful, or simply not useful as friends. And we do make friends in order to use them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Friendship is a contract that says, “I’ll protect and help you if you protect and help me.”
Thus, showing off one’s good times with friends can at least partially be seen as an application for more friends. When you get a job, you write about your past experience and get referrals from past employers to show that you have value as an employee. When acquiring new friends, you show that you have a good track record with past friends, to prove your value.
As social animals, acquiring friends is of the utmost importance to us. Safety is in numbers, which means that evolution has steered us to naturally seek friendships, because being alone has often meant death for those who didn’t quite make it to become our ancestors. Making a bad or abusive friend can sometimes be the same thing as being left alone. Befriending a loner, or someone with no track record, is a risk.
Many see the things people do online as, “Oh, those dumb humans, trying to prove their importance to everybody!” But in a world where demonstrating one’s value and utility to others is often tantamount to surviving and thriving, maybe we should be saying, “Oh, those smart humans, trying to prove their importance to everybody!”
And I’m going to step off my soapbox now! I just find this stuff really interesting, haha. As you probably also do. Keep in mind this is just the opinion of one person, I’m not an evolutionary psychologist or anything. :P
mod note: the user who submitted this is holycrapflyingapples. She’s the bomb for doing this.