Like me. Like ME. LIKE ME DAMN IT.


Bruce FeilerFor the Love of Being ‘Liked’ – For Some Social-Media Users, an Anxiety From Approval Seeking:

Walking through an airport newsstand this year, I noticed a novelty…I quickly snapped a photo and sent out a tweet to my modest list of followers…Then I waited for the love. I checked the response before passing through security. Nothing. I glanced again while waiting for the plane. Still nothing. I looked again before we took off. Nobody cared. My little attempt to pass a lonely hour in an airport with some friendly interaction had turned into the opposite: a brutal cold shower of social isolation.

We are deep enough into the social-media era to begin to recognize certain patterns among its users. Foremost among them is a mass anxiety of approval seeking and popularity tracking that seems far more suited to a high school prom than a high-functioning society…

…it all begins to seem a bit, well, desperate.

…Time for a rewrite, Mr. Shakespeare. This above all: to thine others be true.

…“In a lot of ways, the addictive part is in the anticipation,”

…”I noticed I get in this puppet situation,” she said. “I get bored, and there’s something compelling about being able to put something online, and all of a sudden there’s instant gratification of ‘They like me!’

…Maybe Warhol needs a rewrite, too: Today, everybody can be famous for 15 retweets.

…A growing body of research indicates how deeply our brains are wired to seek social approval.

Read full (and excellent) article at For the Love of Being ‘Liked’


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  1. That’s when it’s turned to addiction & the line is very thin at least that how I feel about it. I know I could cross it at any time and it’s thanks to that awareness that I’m alert to the precarity of the situation.


  2. I can’t imagine anyone disagreeing with this – somewhere in their core, if not in that which is on the surface. The psychology of having people check ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ (which evokes an awful memory for me, but I digress), in and of itself is a powerful suggestion. Funny – this has been on my mind a lot lately.


  3. I do not have the opportunity this morning to read through the links, but I get it. There are times I put a post up and think that this is going to be the one that breaks 1,000 views today….it’s a work of art…well thought out, witty, informative and has good search terms…and then nothing. The next day in a rush, I throw some cartoon from Twitter up and the comments come all day. Thesis proven…..RJV

    Liked by 1 person

  4. it certainly can be a bit of an addiction


  5. simplelivingover50 says:

    Excellent article, and as a newbie to WP I have started to feel this myself. Even though I set out to simply write for myself and create a journal that my children and grandchildren can read one day, and create a positive environment to help other’s, I do get a high out of getting likes and new followers. By the way, I LIKED this post. LOL


    • Hi Billy. Smiling. Thanks for LIKING my post. You made my day. It is hard not to get caught up in it, esp the community. Fantastic experience. Thanks for dropping by. I’m now on the SimpleLivingOver50 Bus.


  6. Good reminder David. A few years back I was nearing the edge with my blog, constantly checking it throughout the day and feeling anxious if my hits were not what they were the day before. You are so right about stepping back and taking a walk in the woods…


  7. “…a mass anxiety of approval seeking and popularity tracking that seems far more suited to a high school prom than a high-functioning society…” What have we become??? A little bit (or maybe a lot) sick, just plain sick. Hope you LIKE my comment, David…otherwise, my entire day may be fraught with misery.


  8. What I find interesting is that the longer the post, the less likes it gets but the more comments. One person I follow wrote a post about how easy it was for people to click on like without even bothering to read a post properly (especially with the “reader” facility on WordPress). He went on to say that although he appreciated likes, he appreciated comments much more, as it meant people had stopped to consider what he’d written.

    Of course, in reality, we’re all very busy and it’s not always possible to comment on everything and a like is better than nothing.

    One day, I caught one of my followers red-handed, or whatever the internet equivalent for red-handeds is. I’d just put up one of my longer posts on writing, which would have taken a human (but possibly not an android) at least two minutes to read. But about 15 seconds after I’d pressed publish, the post received a like.

    Ever since then, I’ve been realistic in my expectations, if not slightly cynical. People will be people and some days they’re transparent and not so clever.


  9. I really worry about the way kids are constantly seeking approval through social media. I’m relieved that my kids seem to have inherited my antisocial tendency to not care. At least as far as I know. There are new sites popping up all the time and I can’t even keep up with the few I’m on!


  10. i’ve considered this as well. at times, i’ve thought about what a powerful personal experiment it would be for me to publish without allowing any comments or likes. just to write for the pure joy of it and to put it out there, simply to share and not for response.when i think deeper and do a bit of self-reflection, i realize that it’s the response that is a huge part of what i love about the process,as the human connection is what makes life worthwhile for me and reminds me that i am alive.


  11. I’m still flabbergasted that *anyone* reads my stuff. The rest is gravy.


  12. I agree with Sarah. I have seen people doing that on FaceBook as well and that’s like cheating for me. Liking a post is not wrong as sometimes we are out of words but at least absorbing what you have read is important.


  13. It’s a fascinating phenomenon, and one that I think about frequently. I often wonder, after I write an article, what the person who picks up the magazine thinks. I feel like I’m putting a little piece of myself out into the world. I’m always beyond delighted when someone takes the time to drop me a note and tell me they’ve enjoyed/been moved by something I wrote. We are all, in the end, seeking affirmation. There are few things more powerful than someone saying, ‘Yes, I hear you, I noticed….’


  14. I’m late to this gravy train, though I feel it is important to point out that I get a thrill reading your replies to my comments. 🙂


  15. Oh yeah. Not only are we humans and “likes” are an easy way to feel appreciated, but as soon as we use social media for business, the pressure to be liked and followed multiplies…The “insights/stats” for my business pages make hilarious comparisons on how (bad) I’m doing in the popularity contest. By now I’ve learned to take all that with a pinch of salt…around my margarita bowl.


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