Eat, Love, Twitter: The Social Connections of Food

Dine with others and you are guaranteed better health! The social aspect of being with others is high on the list of things that make you healthier and happier. But is there a high tech hierarchy that matches our social and emotional needs? And is it determined by what you eat, with whom and for how often?

Psychologist Abraham Maslow found that when you hunger to meet your needs, you seek them as you would food. What does that look like in the world of friends and Facebook? Your most basic need is hunger. There need be no social contact or networking here, no tweeting about your bowl of raisin bran or texting a friend to come over to enjoy watching the milk saturate the wheat flakes.

Consistency and stability come next on the social needs ladder. Use Google Calendar so you don’t miss your happy hour with the same group of casual work friends. You can acknowledge the sushi, sangria and social networks on Linkedin or Google +. You can pitch benefits of healthy eating by posting “Taking care of my health at Nekama, with the gang from the office. Find out more about fish oil @ http://tinyurl.com/cbm5ddb.” Posts at this level tend to be safe not provocative. The urge to post about fish overrides the need to take up the cause of farm raised vs. wild caught.

Belonging comes next on the ladder of social needs; with belonging you begin to tweet about girlfriends’ night out for drinks and hor’dourves or your regular coffee with a colleague. #CoffeeGeek caught a blond roast @ Starbucks while launching a new branding campaign today with my networking group. Your tweet is more about your dish and your desires than your date. #CoffeeGeek gets to brand his expertise on Twitter.

Pinterest taps into your next level of needs for esteem and leadership among your friends. It’s the place where you post your favorite food photos and recipes to make mouths water and become the queen of cuisine. You can post photos of your lunch or birthday cake but there is definitely a shared element of friendship seeking and acknowledgement when you pin. PInterest offers a high level of branding; you can become a food guru with a brand such as Food Mantra.

When you begin Facebook posting, you’re ready to meet your needs for fulfillment. These are needs for enrichment and peak experience that definitely involve posts and photos of close friends, partners, duck dinners, a casual dinner at home and vacations near and far. This is the top of the emotional food chain and the relationship world. Your significant other, family and close friends are seen with you at picnics graduations and planting basil and mint in your garden. You review dinners out with friends @urbanspoon.com.

Finally, “Find something you are passionate about and stay tremendously interested in it,” as Julia Child once said. The message holds in world a full of food, friends and social networking choices.

Facebook and Website photo posts in combination reveal signs of true passion and commitment. Your life is expressed by what you post and with whom you dine, live and have your raisin bran. The full circle of your cyber world is then genuinely, technically and gastronomically complete.

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