Just because the LIKE button exists doesn’t mean people really LIKE you.
One of the problems that I see in today’s society as it pertains to the social media culture is the LIKE button. Regardless of what social networking site one may use, there is some form of a LIKE button in place which is designed to award approval to an individual for whatever it is they may have posted to that social media site. The problem is, people actually think the LIKE button is a significant means of measuring one’s worth, impact, forward progression, & acceptance by others. Truth is, most people press the LIKE button not necessarily to support or agree with whatever the said person has chosen to post, but often times the LIKE button is pressed simply to say “I guess I’ll acknowledge your presence.” I know some of you are reading this with the WTF are you talking about face & I’ll gladly explain my reasoning.
What is the true purpose of social media?
The true purpose of social media is to connect with people whether they are friends, family, associates, business contacts, or customers. It is a medium that is designed to keep you in the loop so to speak with what’s going on in the world. Most people tend to have very busy lives between work, school, extra curricular stuff, family, significant others, etc.; so social media helps to fill the void some may experience in other areas of their life by connecting with other people to keep abreast to what may be happening in their world. This all ties into the basic human-to-human connection we as a species are genetically designed for. Social media has found a way to keep this human-to-human connection ever present & I personally think that is a great attribute when handled with care.
The problem that arises with this ever present human-to-human connection is the constant need for acceptance & approval. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, people have basic needs which must be fulfilled. Of these needs, the need for self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect for others, & respect by others are some of the key elements to developing & sustaining a healthy enduring life. Facebook & other social media companies have found a way to fulfill that need with the click of an icon…the LIKE button. Social media has made it ridiculously easy to find & gain acceptance in a virtual world whereas this same acceptance could prove to be quite challenging in the real world for a person who may be less confident. With this ease of acceptance through the LIKE button, people have started shifting the way they perceive their self value & worth all by measuring how many times the LIKE button is pressed on their status updates. It’s now getting to the point where people have come to expect to be LIKED & if no one shows them any LIKE love, then the rest of people simply don’t get them or these other people have evolved into some type of hater.
I love Facebook and it’s capabilities for allowing me to interact with a multitude of people representing different backgrounds and interests. One of my favorite hobbies in life is photography. Due to the type of photography I often choose to take has allowed me to interact with a lot of musicians & ‘models’. The thing that always amuses me the most when I connect with these musicians & models online is how they tend to live and die for a LIKE to something they just recently posted. A musician will post a link to his/her song & a model will post an image of her picture & I can almost guarantee you that they will spend a significant amount of time monitoring that update to see how many LIKES it can rack up. It’s crazy because, these people I’m describing could careless about actual engagement on their status in the form of comments. Often times they are more concerned with how many LIKES that status update can get. For them, the LIKE count is a numerical value that represents their rankings which they tend to believe represents their ranking in real life. Reality is, online activities and activities in real life do not necessarily mirror one another. Anybody is capable of becoming who they want to be in the online world, but it’s very few people who can actually prove that who they represent online is who they are in reality.
NEWSFLASH: NOBODY REALLY LIKES YOU!
Everybody is screaming for attention online in hopes that this attention will transform itself into some type of notoriety which could possibly lead into some type of fame followed by some type of monetary earnings. So people who live & die for LIKES typically go out of their way to create status updates just for the sake of creating status updates just to be ‘seen’. In their quest to be seen, they are yearning for people to hit the LIKE button. These type of people are they type who will post a status update, if that status update doesn’t receive a LIKE within the first minute or so, they will either delete the update or post another one. Yet when you read these updates, these updates are nothing more than fluff with no value. It’s simply just someone shouting
“HEY LOOK AT ME! SOMEBODY PLEASE LIKE MY STATUS UPDATE SO I CAN FEEL BETTER ABOUT MYSELF BECAUSE YOU ARE ACKNOWLEDGING I EXIST!”
And that’s what it all boils down to! People want other people to acknowledge they exist & in return other people will click the LIKE button as a means of saying “Ok ok…I see you, now please shut the hell up!” Is that not what is taking place more often than not? If people really wanted to engage you, they would inbox you, leave a comment, pick up the phone & call you, or interact with you in the REAL world.
Now don’t get it confused, people genuinely LIKE a status update simply because they like it due to it being funny or whatever, but lately with this fantasy that everybody has of thinking they will become the next social media star to be discovered, most people just LIKE shit just to LIKE it. Those who receive these casual LIKES seriously think that these LIKES are a measure for potential success instead of stepping back into the real world and putting in the necessary hard work to achieve success. Times have changed and people’s expectations on acceptance have changed as well. People are stuck experiencing a false sense of accomplishment these days thanks to social media…it’s almost a tragedy.
Anyways, what are your thoughts on the power of the LIKE button? Do you agree or disagree with my assessment? Share your thoughts in the comments below & don’t forget to hit the LIKE button on this article. 🙂