The evolving world of psychology, due to advancements in technology, are not given enough attention.
There are a few names studied in psychology that are not only embedded in a psychology major’s brain, but often times, the rest of the world as well.
One of those names clearly being Freud, but another name you might recognize being Maslow. I have studied Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in psychology classes, communication classes, business classes… you name it.
Abraham Maslow probably envisioned his needs being met in a much different way in the 40’s than a modern psychologist would view them now. Particularly with social media being utilized like it is today. I think he would be shocked and a little disappointed in the human race with the less than natural ways in which we are meeting his needs today.
Today… people are meeting these needs in much different ways than in the past. As a result, I would like to argue that some people get too caught up in particular needs as a direct side effect of newer technology utilized to meet these needs.
For example, one of the stages is known as love and belonging. Today, many people use social media and texting to feel like they belong, to feel loved. You’ll know if you’re trying to have a conversation with someone who seems to be modernly stuck in this stage.
How? –This is the person that will pull out their phone during a conversation. Further, this is the person that will actually check a text message as THEY are talking to you and have to stop mid sentence because they can’t read and talk at the same time. This person feels the need to be constantly connected and constantly seeking approval and satisfaction of this stage; whereas, in the past, this constant connectedness was not an option.
Even at a lower level, safety, we utilize modern advances such as the internet to pay bills, find jobs, track family whereabouts and so on. This second level of needs can be almost solely met online. We can obtain a sense of security in various aspects of life just by jumping on a computer and logging on.
The most basic level might be a stretch. We can’t yet breathe through the internet or sleep via the computer, however, the internet does indirectly affect some of these basic functions. You can order food online, look up coupons and pricing information. Although this is a loose interpretation of Maslow’s needs, it is still affecting our ability to move through the stages quicker and more efficiently than in the past.
Personally, I have no problem fulfilling my needs and moving through the pyramid utilizing technology and the internet. I think it is causing our levels to evolve and pretty soon the pyramid will have to be altered all together, but this should be looked at as a positive thing.
For now, I’m going to enjoy getting my love and self-actualizing through my online endeavors and appreciate moving through these stages easier than my ancestors.