And how can it help those struggling with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, an eating disorder, or any other type of mental-health issue stay on track? Merriam-Webster defines literacy as the ability to read and write and as having knowledge or competence--the traditional definition of literacy as applied to the printed word. However, with the advent of the World Wide Web, the Internet, and social media, our literacy can also be measured as it relates to our knowledge of and competence navigating media. Having media literacy entails having the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and act using all forms of digital communication. The child will actualize himself, in spite of the painful experiences in so doing. In the same way, he will become independent, responsible, self-governing, socialized, in spite of the pain which is often involved in these steps. Even where he does not, because of a variety of circumstances, exhibit growth of these more complex sons, one may still rely on the fact that the tendency is present. Given the opportunity for clear-cut choice between forward-moving and regressive behavior, the tendency will operate. One puzzle that is not adequately solved by this proposition is the question, Why must the factors of choice be clearly perceived in order for this forward-moving tendency to operate? It would seem that unless experience is adequately symbolized, unless suitably accurate differentiations are made, the individual mistakes regressive behavior for self-enhancing behavior. This aspect will be more fully discussed in Proposition XI and following. V) Behavior is basically the goal-directed attempt of the organism to satisfy its needs as experienced, in the field as perceived. This proposition becomes somewhat modified in the human organism, as we shall see, by the development of the self. Let us first consider it as it applies to organisms in general, and in the human infant before the self comes to play an important role in the regulation of behavior. But try it on, because if you don't offer yourself up, we all lose out. We need what you have to contribute. That feeling of not-enoughness? That's not your failing. That's human! Feeling vulnerable, imperfect, and afraid is human.

Naming it allows others to connect with you. We share our imperfectness. One of the most beautiful things we can offer to others is to hold space for these struggles that we all go through. BRINGING IT HOME Living in the digital age allows anyone to create any form of media. From text messages and advertising to memes and viral content, media takes all shapes and forms. This is why social-media literacy is important. At the forefront of social-media literacy is the concept of critical-thinking skills. Cultivating critical thinking in the digital era is especially important for children, adolescents, and young adults, considering the amount of content they consume on a minute-by-minute basis. Skillfully being able to evaluate any type of digital media, including social media, means having the ability to determine what information is pertinent and what content may be excluded and being able to accurately interpret the overall message and purpose of a text, picture, or post. These skills make us less vulnerable to being seduced into falling for misrepresentations and fabrications of reality. Being aware of our emotions while we're logged on to social media is another important aspect of media literacy. Asking ourselves questions such as, What was I feeling or doing before I decided to log on? How do I feel while scrolling on social media, surfing the Web, or watching YouTube? All needs have a basic relatedness, if we accept Proposition IV, in that they all spring from and have reference to, the basic tendency to maintain and enhance the organism. These needs occur as physiological tensions which, when experienced, form the basis of behavior which appears functionally (though not consciously) designed to reduce the tension and to maintain and enhance the organism. The need itself is not necessarily consciously experienced; In hunger, for example, stomach contractions occur which ordinarily are not directly experienced. The excitation which is thus set up may be experienced vaguely and below the conscious level, nevertheless bringing about behavior which is in the direction of food, or it may be symbolized and perceived on the conscious level as hunger. The question arises, Do all needs have their origin in physiological tensions?

Are the needs for affection and achievement, for example, which seems to be significantly related to the maintenance and enhancement of the organism, biologically based? We should gain by well-planned research on this point. The work by Ribble (162) and others would seem to indicate that the need for affection is a physiological need, and that the infant who does not have adequate close physical contact with a mother-person is left in a state of unsatisfied physiological tension. If this is true of the infant, then it is easy to see how this need, like all the others, becomes elaborated and channelized through cultural conditioning into needs which are only remotely based upon the underlying physiological tension. Vulnerability is about allowing people to see us, as we are, in all our human messiness. It's the key to connection. We all deserve to know that our lives have value, that what we have to offer the world is useful, and that the people around us value and appreciate us beyond our surface. When we protect ourselves and don't show our vulnerability, we cut ourselves off from love, intimacy, and connection. They come to us through the same door. While it is the key to connection, communion, and community, vulnerability heals only when there's a certain degree of safety. Some people may abuse it. We will get hurt sometimes. Relationship pain is an unavoidable aspect of being human. But when we can see this for what it is--perhaps the sign of a mismatch between two people--we can use our pain as a learning opportunity to help us make better choices in the future. Finally, social-media literacy entails the awareness of social media's impact on us individually and on our society. To explain further, there's no doubt that social media has forever changed the way we think about the world, each other, and ourselves. Social media is not only a digital space that allows us to connect with family, friends, and people from all over the world, it is also an information hub, shaping and reinforcing our attitudes, behaviors, preoccupations, and ideas. We now log on to catch up with the news, follow the financial markets, keep current regarding cultural trends, and follow the lives of celebrities, athletes, and thought leaders. There's no doubt about it, social media has the real ability to influence our decisions, our actions, our behaviors, our political opinions, where we should travel, and what schools our kids should attend. Challenging the messages telegraphed via social media requires a strong grasp of social-media literacy.

Let's now turn our attention to Leo, a social-media user in recovery from alcohol abuse. We'll explore how social-media literacy helps him to stay on the path to recovery. Meet Leo, a Newly Recovering Substance Abuser and Social-Media User Leo was four weeks sober when he first came to see me for help with living a sober lifestyle. Much more work needs to be done in this area before we have any deep understanding of this problem. The research to date is poorly planned and poorly controlled. It is noted that behavior is postulated as a reaction to the field as perceived. This point, like some of the other propositions, is proved every day in our experience, but is often overlooked. The reaction is not to reality, but to the perception of reality. A horse, sensing danger, will try to reach the safety and security which he perceives in his stall, even though the barn may be in flames. A man in the desert will struggle just as hard to reach the lake which he perceives in a mirage, as to reach a real water hole. At a more complex level, a man may strive for money because he perceives money as the source of emotional security, even though in fact it may not satisfy his need. Often, of course, the perception has a high degree of correspondence with reality, but it is important to recognize that it is the perception, not the reality, which is crucial in determining behavior. It should also be mentioned that in this concept of motivation all the effective elements exist in the present. The fear of rejection supports us in identifying the people who can best respect and appreciate us. Providing safe space for someone else to be vulnerable is a tremendous gift to bestow, a gift from which the giver benefits greatly. It is a life-affirming experience to have someone offer you their vulnerability, to know that you have done enough for them to trust you with something so intimate. We should all be able to experience this. When trust is building and vulnerability is being met and returned with a mutual gift of revelation and intimacy, that is where transformation, healing, and connection emerge. When the space between us is curious, brave, and safe, a new world is born.

The key to healing--for ourselves and the world! Embracing your own vulnerability is hard, but not nearly as hard as giving up on connection and belonging. Choose vulnerability--but choose it wisely. It is important to protect yourself without closing yourself off. He was twenty-two years old, had recently graduated from college, and was living at home with his parents. He had just gotten discharged from an inpatient-rehabilitation program when we began our work together. College had been a difficult transition for Leo. He had struggled with navigating his new independence and with sticking to a schedule without his parents' constant oversight. As a result, Leo found himself partying more than studying or attending classes. I had a really hard time managing my schedule and finding a healthy balance between being social and studying, Leo told me in session. When I was in college, I was going out almost every night, getting stone-cold drunk, but most of my friends were only partying two to three times a week, and they weren't getting hammered every time they went out. I'm not proud to admit this, but more times than I can count on my two hands I blacked out from drinking too much. Now that I'm in recovery and thinking straight, I'm lucky to be alive and that I didn't die from alcohol poisoning. I tried keeping my drinking a secret from my friends, my parents, and even myself by minimizing it and pretending that the stupid things I did when I was drunk were funny and intentional. Behavior is not caused by something which occurred in the past. Present tensions and present needs arc the only ones which the organism endeavors to reduce or satisfy. While it is true that past experience has certainly served to modify the meaning which will be perceived in present experiences, yet there is no behavior except to meet a present need. VI) Emotion accompanies and in general facilitates such goal-directed behavior, the kind of emotion being related to the socking versus the consummatory aspects of the behavior, and the intensity of the emotion being related to the perceived significance of the behavior for the maintenance and enhancement of the organism. In this goal-seeking effort which is termed behavior, what is the place of emotion, feeling, emotionalized attitudes? Any brief answer is likely to contain serious inadequacies, yet some framework for our thinking may be supplied by Proposition VI.