What is the real motive of one doing virtue signaling? How does it divert one from real validation?
When one opens social media, it shows a multitude of sympathy actions to condemn and criticize inequality. These actions flocks when the news has started to announce something. When one does not even know what’s going on, one has immediately stated an opinion directly. The argument stated is more often unaligned with what one believes without a further understanding of the incident.
This phenomenon is called virtue signal, where one intends to show a positive image through a dishonest personal viewpoint. Despite the dishonesty, the action intentional. On the other hand, the expression is through willful ignorance.
Of course, one needs to be incentivized for the action, not exceptional for virtue signalling. One may feel good about spreading a positive influence to others. This action boosts one happiness through the sense of importance one has.
Another reason is the bandwagon effect, where people just merely following the crowd. To get accepted, following groups seems like a plausible action. This cognitive bias is an aftermath of human evolutionary behaviour, human as a social creature needs to have social proof.
What makes the virtue signal dangerous to the one who signals? First, it gives an impression of inauthentic to others, where the initial motive of getting validation makes one losing it. Second, the collective efforts of virtue signalling could alter society based on the intention of news spreader. In other words, one could manipulate another using another’s greed on validation.
The issue arises when one has set a persona that diverts from the real persona. When the persona is inconsistent, it could let people live in imagination and could push the signalman further from reality. The imbalance of imaginary and reality generate hiatus in personality.
From the above points, one may think that virtue signal is purely inducing negative impacts. However, at least it may increase social awareness and inspiring others. Therefore, if one could optimally harnessing it, one could get real validation and inspire other people.
“Inspire on what you do, influence others of what you mean.”
What is your action to prevent yourself from virtue signal?