In less than a decade social media has quickly established itself as an integral and increasingly essential part of the everyday lives of over a billion people worldwide, with seemingly no corner of the globe able to resist its temptatious grasp.

For both brands and users, social media has become incredibly important, even vital, and many now argue that access to these channels is a basic human right. Have platforms such as Twitter and Facebook moved beyond a want into something that we actually need?

Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is an important psychological theory that addresses the stages of growth in humans. Typically displayed in the shape of a pyramid, the largest and most base physiological needs – breathing, food, water, sleeping etc – are displayed at the bottom, followed by safety, love/belonging, esteem and self-actualisation.

This infographic takes Maslow’s theory and looks at the social media tools that fulfill these needs. While these platforms do not provide any physiological nourishment, it could be argued that Facebook and Google+ do help us maintain a sense of belonging through connections to friends and family. Twitter is good for our self-esteem, inasmuch as it empowers us to reach out to others and self-promote, and LinkedIn somewhat satisfies our need for safety, providing security for employment.

Alternatively: it’s all a load of mumbo-jumbo. I’ll let you be the judge.

(Source: Tics Y Formacion. Pyramid image via Shutterstock.)