Are social needs a reason to take part in social networks?

In the book about motivation and personality by Abraham Harold Maslow, he found that besides basic physiological and security needs, people also have got the need for affiliation. There is no doubt, that we are social beings. Regarding to this, we perceive the absence of our friends or our beloved. This absence most likely triggers a feeling of discomfort. Thus men tries to imply actions that lead away from loneliness and isolation by, for instance getting more involved into a social group. 

The trio of needs

Furthermore there is another by psychologist accepted concept – the trio of needs. This trio of needs consist of the need for power, which literally is the need to have an influence over people and things surrounding you. Thus people tend to use their power in order to control the environment. A loss of influential power is perceived threatening. There also exist the need for achievement. People intend to set goals in their life with the purpose to have got something to strive for. Additionally it highly increases once ego and self-esteem when having success. Last but not least, there is the need for affiliation, which can be related to the social need of Maslow as well. Thus it has to be mentioned, that many psychologist found a need that is directed towards the search for friends and acceptance within a social group. 

Social Media meets social needs

In a social network context it is recognizable, that these platforms promote peoples satisfaction of social needs. Hence the need for affiliation can be seen as a primary need for the participation in social networks since they promote networking, building of relationships, exchanging and providing information as well as the participation in a social group. It is questionable if people tend to communicate more with the help of social networks while having at the same time less face to face conversations.