Maslow’s Hierarchy of Social Media

In the year 1943, Abraham Maslow created his most notable work, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In his theory, human needs are divided into five categories; Physiological, Safety, Love/Belonging, Self-Esteem and Self-actualisation.

Physiological– Basic physical needs of air, water, food, shelter and clothing.

Safety– Security of body, finance, morality, health and property.

Love/Belonging– Love, affections, relationships

Self-Esteem– Confidence and achievement, mastery, independence, status

Self-actualisation– Creative fulfillment, personal growth seeking, and peak experiences.


His hierarchy of needs is usually portrayed in the shape of a pyramid/triangle, starting with the most fundamental at the bottom and the need for self-actualisation at the top.  An individual need to master a category to be able to desire and move upwards to a new stage.

So how does this relate to social media?

Well, I’m betting that all of you who are reading my post have at least one social media account that you feel and have the need to open at least once a week, am I right?

Aside from physiological needs, which obviously need to be physical, our social media has been providing all the other stages of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Let me introduce you to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Social Media:

PS: Note that the social media sites listed below are not restricted to one stage of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it could overlap with two, three, or even all the stages. Also, there are still many other examples of social media that could be applied to this context. So below are just a few examples.

Safety- Linkedin, where you are able to find jobs and networks that could open doors for your career path.

Love/Belonging- Facebook, Google +, where you are able to reconnect and gain relationships, whether it is in the form of acquaintances, friends, lovers or family.

Self-Esteem- Twitter, where you are able to share your experiences, achievements that will help you boost your confidence and gain respect from others.

Self-Realization- Tumblr, Blogspot, Wikipedia, where you are allowed to share your knowledge, interests, inner thoughts and your creativity.

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I really think social media has become a dominating factor in our lives. Whether we think of it just as a helpful tool to keep in touch with old friends, make new ones, or to be able to share our thoughts, just being able to access to all types of social media can actually make our life more fulfilled. Your thoughts?