When we are "social", it is about getting a good shot for Instagram, to get some hearts.
The problem is indeed in the illness of craving the virtual validation. And I think it is about numbing the pain of feeling that they lead a shallow life, with no meaningful connections. What makes us human in comparison with an animal is our ability to form life long connections , to have relationships and to nurture them. We have the gift of verbal language, but now people speak "emoticon" to fast forward the process. They send a message instead of calling. They call instead of seeing. They just sit and see instead of hugging. The cycle of this disease of the heart will make a lot of people ill, the teens are especially vulnerable.
I have found that even adults go down this path. Embracing the virtual person instead of working on the real one. If we could count the tears behind the virtual hearts....Instagram would cry. Many people pose happy for a second and the rest of the day they are sad and depressed. It is heartbreaking to see how people turn to be now. Should we have social media rehab facilities? Take it all and see you can live without it. Being on social media and not getting validated is still ok. You don't have to own a fake self, you just have to own yourself. It is the only thing we trully possess. That is why we have the power to let go of what we own in material goods. When we will realise that what we own is ourselves and that is the best thing, the cycle will stop.
Your post reminded me of a wise quote, which goes well in this and it made me wonder when I came across it
"Before you heal someone, ask him if he's willing to give up the things that made him sick." —Hippocrates