Constantly Seeking Approval

“Please like me.”

“Please like what I have to say.”

“Please love me.”

“Why do you only like what I have to say, why didn’t you love it?”

“I think you suck for not liking me.”

Looks sort of mental doesn’t it?   Did some emotional crippled person write this before going into a manic episode?    Didn’t Glenn Close say this in Fatal Attraction?

This is what humans are saying over three billion times a day on Facebook alone, according to marketland.com, a website that covers the digital marketing industry.   Every single day we’re receiving feedback from other humans via social media, on whether or not they approve of our posts, comments and views.    We’re being constantly told when people think we’re really cool, sorta cool or not cool at all.    Since humans are biologically social creatures, this kind of interaction is pretty amazing to our brains, and of course, can be quite addictive.    But is it also turning everyone into incredibly needy people whom now constantly crave approval?  No doubt you’ve posted something you feel is pretty thought provoking on social media and wondered why more people didn’t “love” it… maybe it even bothered you to the point where you thought something might be wrong with your internet connection….surely there should be more notifications by now?    And yes, I’m speaking from experience.

Social media has given us the ability to participate in thousands of popularity contests a day, some of which we’re competing in ourselves.    One would be lying if they didn’t admit their personal sense of satisfaction when a blurb they post receives positive responses in the form of thumbs up or hearts, validations from human kind that you’re on the right track… to something or another.    This goes the other way too, especially when you post something you feel so powerful, only to be knocked down by so many, crushing your hopes for acknowledgement, sending you into a downward spiral of more angry faces, or the inappropriately placed laughing emoji, utterly mocking your contribution as completely useless.   Now you’re in an approval deficit and must recover… you need more hearts… quick post something funny ASAP!     And yes, I’m speaking from experience again.

Does this happen to everyone though?    Are there some people out there that haven’t turned into little digital crack monkeys, obsessively banging on the lever for more?  Are these the ones that “don’t give a fuck” anyway?    Are these the people that throw trash out of their car windows… and… and… it’s hard to even type… don’t recycle?   Do these people post on social media and don’t even care about the likes or those beautiful little hearts?  They must be assholes for sure, because if they cared about anything, they would care how many people think cow cuddling is awesome.   I would imagine these people probably also spend very little time on social media, after all why would they even bother?    They’re clearly not social to begin with.

I’m new to a lot of this Facebook stuff.    I’ve been a member less than a year and I’ve connected with some amazing and wonderful people, embarked on new adventures and even learned a lot about myself, so I’m not knocking it.    I’m just wondering if all these little doses of digital crack is healthy for humans as a whole…distracting us from the real work that needs to be done, whether it be knocking on doors, talking to our neighbors or doing the dishes.   Three billion times a day we’re communicating with others, sharing our ideas, but is it for the sake of sharing or the little buzz we get when someone likes it?    Are our intentions really to make the world a smaller place, or are we just seeking approval, trying to make us feel better about ourselves?    Do we really want to save our planet or does it just make us feel less lonely that others feel the same way?  So many questions.

Perhaps you can separate the ones that are just getting “high” on approval from those with other intentions, by looking at their actions and lives outside of social media.   For example, if someone feels the need to constantly post about saving alien beings from Mars, but never takes the time to even look up at the red planet at night, perhaps they’re just hopping on a bandwagon because it’s popular, and it feels great to get those little thumbs and beautiful hearts.  But take a person that has invested their time, energy and money into a cause, then it’s likely they’re not a digital crack monkey, and their position deserves more attention.  Maybe those folks are too busy with really changing the world, and not how many likes they have.   They haven’t been seduced by the noise of social media or the allure of acceptance… they are out there effecting change before it’s too late, before the opportunity passes and scrolls off their feed.

If you liked this article please like it, or even better love it and share it with your friends.   Please?   Pretty please?  I need a fix like now.