Why we like to share

Isabel Salvosa
Why we like to share
Looking beyond the millennial’s #aesthetic and personal branding on social media

MANILA, Philippines – Sharing – and sometimes, oversharing – is the norm for millennials.

In 2017, live video revolutionized the way we share content online. This format is steadily gaining popularity, with ordinary netizens streaming tutorials, Q&As, activities, and events.

We stream mainly on Facebook and Instagram, but emerging platforms such as BIGO LIVE prove there’s a demand for this specific kind of sharing.

It’s anything but private. So what drives millennials to share their private experiences and innermost thoughts to a big audience?

Online platforms provide a convenient way to release negative energy. Sharing even the most mundane details of your day feels therapeutic. Han Dee, a nurse and livestreamer, says, “It’s a way to relieve stress after coming home from an extremely toxic shift.”

The most important social issues of the day are online as well, and we’re eager to contribute to the discussion and the action. We share news and opinion articles, or livestream important events as they happen.

We also crave acceptance. As digital natives, millennials just so happen to gain affirmation via likes, views, and followers.

More than the numbers, we find comfort in knowing that other people share the same beliefs. When we get shared or retweeted, we know we’re not alone.

Our online community gives us a sense of belonging. We see our livestream and video viewers as family.

Zendee, who livestreams musical performances, says, “I’m shy when I’m not on stage. Through livestreaming you can make friends, virtually and even personally.”

Despite this, millennials still feel the need to set themselves apart from the pack.

We want our unique personalities to show, so we capture daily routines on Snapchat or BIGO LIVE, post interests on Instagram, express thoughts on Twitter, and share relevant content on Facebook.

Our online profiles are extensions of ourselves. We have, in a sense, become products as well. 

What we share is not only a curation of our identities, branding, and aesthetic, but who we aspire to be.

Live video presents a more candid side to social media. When we go live, there are less opportunities to edit ourselves, which is refreshing. We value the authenticity of being able to share a moment as it happens.

While social media’s emphasis on online facades can feel toxic sometimes, trying on different personalities is part of our journey to self-discovery as young adults struggling to make sense of ourselves and the world.

By creating an online persona, we come to learn more about ourselves and how far we are from achieving our ideals.

But sharing is now more than a means to assert identity.

As proved by digital influencers, sharing comes with perks and substantial revenue.

Brands partner with online personalities use their influence over their large follower base. These influencers promote their client’s products to their fans via sponsored posts and affiliate links on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. On BIGO LIVE, viewers send “beans” to their favorite personalities, which can be converted to cash.

The popularity of this sharing format creates new jobs. There are millennials whose job is to create video or livestream content everyday, like Han and Zendee.

We get a lot of flack as a generation who posts too much too often. But as digital natives, sharing is part of how we establish ourselves. The culture of sharing has opened more opportunities for us to better define ourselves and pursue what we love. –

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