We don’t know when or how it happened, it kinda snuck up on us. Life used to be about living wild and free, pursuing freedom, happiness, love and contentment.
Now its pretty much all about pursuing those likes.
Did you ever hear the saying, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”. The modern version of that is,
If a grammable moment happens and no-one is around to film it, did it even happen?
Now all of a sudden, we are re-enacting beautiful moments to get the best angle, photographing our beautiful dinner while it goes cold, or putting on a little lipgloss before taking a “hey look, I’m asleep” shot that won’t fool anyone. One of our most used phrases has become “wait, wait, do that again.”
All for the likes.
Lets look at this for a second, we have some questions…
Firstly, how many likes is enough?
What is the magic number when it comes to feeling loved, respected and admired? Would you delete a photo if it only got 3, or 30, or 300 likes? We know that notifications on our phone give us a little chemical hit, and that chemical hit is addictive. When you hit ‘share’ on that Instagram post, how long do you wait before checking if the likes are coming in? Can you walk away and focus on something else for ten minutes? An hour? A day?
Does it affect your mood? Does a lack of likes make you feel that you’re not good enough?
To give some perspective lets look at question number two.
How authentic is the love you give?
What do you like on social media? Do you throw the love around like fairy dust, or does someone need to really work hard for you to double click? Do you really mean it? For many, its a case of “I’ll like theirs so they’ll like mine back”. Or even “Yeah her OOTD is cute but she never likes my stuff so she’s not getting any sugar today”.
An American programmer called Rameet Chawla did a social experiment in which he designed a bot that liked every single post that every single person he followed shared. The result: He became incredibly popular on Instagram. His follower count went through the roof. He became so Insta-famous, that someone stopped him on the street to commend his Insta-magnificence.
And then Instagram shut him down.
But it goes to show that he was liked for liking, not for posting actual content that was decent, real and authentic. He knew very few of the people he interacted with, it was all a big charade. Fake likes, fake lives, fake friends.
Of course we want people to like us, in real life and online. We all care what people think of us and want to put our best self on display. But at some stage it starts to affect our self esteem. Those who get too many likes start to think they are more worthy of those who don’t, and those who don’t believe it too.
If only there was a like button for those who do kind deeds, work hard, and have integrity, even when no one is filming…
Please like and share this post, y’know, for our self esteem