We are, in other words, one another’s virtual enablers

Word Press & Facebook Like Symbols

NY Times, Sunday, June 16, 2013: Facebook Made Me Do It (Excerpts)

…That feedback loop of positive reinforcement is the most addictive element of social media. All those retweets, likes and favorites give us a little jolt, a little boost that pushes us to keep coming back for more. It works whether or not we post the typical social media fodder of lush vacation pictures and engagement announcements or venture into realms that showcase our most daredevilish antics and risqué behavior.

…Our growing collective compulsion to document our lives and share them online, combined with the instant gratification that comes from seeing something you are doing or experiencing get near-immediate approval from your online peers, could be giving us more reason to act out online, for better or for worse.

…We are, in other words, one another’s virtual enablers.

…the vast amplification of the potential audience a single person can reach has raised the stakes for all online activity.

…“It’s performative.”


Source: The New York Times: Facebook Made Me Do It by Jenna Wortham, Technology reporter

Comments

  1. So true!

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  2. Great post! I just enabled you, Dave!

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  3. And if we all stopped now the world would implode or something.

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  4. Yup, I like you!

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  5. Very true – we are easily addictive creatures of habit, and like buttons can be very attractive. I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to the internet – only been connected to the net since last March! I haven’t fallen for the like button addiction everywhere, but certainly on WordPress, a writers website I’m on and now Pinterest, have lured me in!! I feel so much better now I’ve pressed your like button! 😆

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  6. I’m very selective with my “likes”–can’t you tell?

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  7. But it’s so boring if we don’t share a little bit on our blogs, don’t you think? If we’re all stand-offish and staid, and never sharing, we’d all be prudes, and life would be so stifling and dull. And also, I wouldn’t want the world to implode, as Darlene rightly says it might..

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  8. Very true. I had not thought of that perspective in how people use and value likes and feedback. It is interesting how the growth of social media is based on people seeking approval from anyone ( not even necessarily peers ) that would stop by and give them a like up!

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  9. I like it! 🙂 It’s heartwarming to know that we can have our support and enablers anywhere in the world, anytime we need it!

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  10. EEEEK. This is all the persuasion necessary…I’m shutting down my blog and closing my fb account asap!! 😀

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  11. It sounds like we’re all a bunch of drug addicts or something, yikes! Just a little bit scary. What’s the world coming to??? Can’t we all just stop, for just a minute? Tomorrow, or maybe the next day…or maybe next week? Just ONE MORE POST! Please, just one more! It is just crazy.

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  12. True. We are all connected 🙂 aren’t we?

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  13. It’s an interesting way to look at things–kinda like “crowd sourcing your personality.” 😉 I heard a similar discussion recently (Sheri Turkle, perhaps?) that said people are drawn to social media because it allows them to “shape and edit” their persona so that it appears “just so” online, whereas in person it’s the “real deal” which can be “messy,” random, and sometimes not pretty. It’s a curious world we inhabit today, no doubt about it….

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  14. Wait…there’s a line?

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  15. Alex Jones says:

    The dopamine feedback loop 🙂

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  16. I like to think of it as a virtual fan club.

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  17. Is there a support group for this?

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  18. Reblogged this on theseeker and commented:
    Oh no, I need a support group. I am an enabler.

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  19. This is not a laughing matter. We perpetuate the denial system inherit in a fixed system that is not necessarily in our own best interests as individuals. Einstein said something to the effect that we cant use the same thinking to solve the problem that created it.
    I dont believe in liking everthing everyone does.
    I joked about Perpetua’s comic put out earlier and will continue to do so, when I see the myths of others being portrayed as truths..
    If you cant show me your “ugly” side as someone said earlier, you are not probably being honest. I will figure it out. Go look at the site we put out. It is raw, truthful, scary, embarassing at times, but honest. I wrote something last week that I walked through so much shame about, but needed to say.
    I am leery of a closed group saying how great and right it is.
    I hope I pushed your buttons, personally. Either the “like,” or the “dislike.”
    JIm

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    • Jim, thank you for your thoughtful (and forthright comments). Your POV reminds me of a quote by Chekov:

      “There should be more sincerity and heart in human relations, more silence and simplicity in our interactions. Be rude when you’re angry, laugh when something is funny, and answer when you’re asked.”

      – Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

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  20. Soooooo true!!!

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  21. melanietoulouse says:

    btw, the “like” button hasn’t worked properly these past 2 days… 🙂 I may be an “ET” or “a bizarre person”: I do not have a facebook account and I never click (on) “like” without reading a post, so I do wonder: do I really exist? c’est grave, docteur?… 🙂

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  22. I’ve enjoyed the comments as much as your post!
    The ego will do whatever it can to get love and approval and it’s adjusted well in the tech world…lol. I believe our mask of being accepted and loved is on in person and behind whichever techie gadget we are using. Are we sharing a vacation or trip so someone else can experience what a particular place is like or are we sharing to brag, look at me, don’t you wish you were here. Are we sharing a story about someone in order for them to look bad so we look good or are we sharing out of compassion, to help or to be honest and say I’ve acted like that. Perhaps we can ask ourselves a few questions before we post something. Anyway, great post and comments. Thank you, Pam 🙂

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