Do you spend time watching for likes? Do you feel sad or anxious that your post isn’t getting enough traction? A lot of people are in the same boat. There are so many people looking for positive reinforcement online. Something that tells us that what we’re doing is interesting, we’re traveling to amazing places, our food looks incredible, that we look great, our kids or pets are adorable, the list could go on and on. Long story short, we’re addicted to likes.
Likes tend to be a fairly low-effort way of getting feelings of social well-being, feelings that are far harder to come by in real life. In our day-to-day life, personal connection with others is key. We get reassurance from physical contact, facial expressions, etc. This is harder to accomplish and is by no means instantaneous. Reinforcement online is fast and easy. We get a certain feeling of euphoria when we get likes. However, it’s a bit like a drug, and we always go back wanting more. The same amount of likes as last time will never be enough.
This can become even more pronounced when you factor in personal branding, particularly because we are now more connected to our professional networks than ever before. We don’t want to be embarrassed by a post that flops, so we’re driven to come up with the best content for the sake of our metrics.
We’re Trophy Hunters
By being so connected to social media, with the average person spending about 109 minutes on social media platforms each day, we’re at a real risk of having likes become more important than how we’re perceived in reality. One new study found that 3 out of 4 people admitted to being rude or disconnected with others when posting on social media. Another finding showed that people would in fact post something online that they wouldn’t otherwise say in reality. When exactly did it become the norm to check-out from reality in order to capture that perfect moment for your followers? When did we become ‘trophy hunters’?
We all know that person who stops everything to get the perfect picture or video, maybe even gets in trouble to do it? How about the person who won’t let anyone eat until you’ve Insta’d it? Perhaps it’s the parent who misses what their kids are doing to check to see how their post is doing? Wherever you fall on this spectrum, whether it’s you, kind of you, or just someone you know, we all need to find a way to get back to living in the moment.
Did you know that about 58% of people admitted that trying to get the ideal post had actually kept them from enjoying life in the moment? Think of what we’re missing, all just to reinforce those positive feelings. We’re missing the opportunity to live in the moment, enjoy the game, the concert, a meal or time with friends and family that is uninterrupted by screen time.
So, what do we do?
Something that we may want to ask ourselves before deciding to post, is if there were no likes would you still post? Would you still share that moment with your network? If the answer is no, then maybe you reconsider the need to share. Some have even installed demetricators (available for Facebook) to take likes entirely out of the equation.
If you’re not quite ready to go to that far, there is no harm in taking some downtime from technology. Take some time to reconnect to the things and people around you. I would argue that people in fact need this time away from technology. While I enjoy social media as much as the next person, we are too often letting these platforms have excessive control over our attention.
So let’s try to keep things in perspective and recognize the fact that likes online are not the ‘be all and end all’. We need to value moments in the real world.
Do you think you like likes too much? Do you know someone who does?
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Do you like ‘likes’ a little too much? It turns out a lot of us are #addicted! Find out more @ http://bit.ly/29giPNp