Thumbs Up! The Power of the Infamous LIKE Button by Joe Reid Kirby III
Whether you’ve witnessed that guy purposely making a complete fool of himself; or the butt-naked girl revealing it all for her followers, one thing is for sure: “likes” are incredibly powerful — and their power only seems to be increasing by the day.
So what will become of this new form of money? It looks as though likes have grown to a similar value as the almighty dollar. Everyone seems to desire a massive amount of likes, almost equal to their lust of monetary gain. So much so, that they’re even willing to exchange their morality for that instant gratification of notifications.
I can recall when the ‘thumbs up’ variation of sign language translated into something as simple as, “that’s cool.” Today though, that same form of innocent symbolism has become synonymous with a wide array of impure inclinations, including, but not limited to: “If I don’t get at least a hundred likes, I’m obviously a failure at life.” “I’d love to tap that, so let me double-tap this.” “How many thumbs does it take to talk to this ultra-popular person I’ve never met & likely never will?” (& my personal favorite …) “Heads down, thumbs up, let’s play WTF!”
No really, what in the world is going on with society? Has our reliance on technology completely deadened the nerve endings connecting our thought-process to our physical actions? Give me a thumbs up, for a “hell yeah!”
On a more serious note, it seems the likes of these likes have been affecting us on a much deeper, psychological level. We’ve grown (or should I say, devolved) to the point of which our confidence in self is anchored upon the gravity of one’s popularity in the social media world. In other words, likes release ample amounts of dopamine into your bloodstream and cause you to feel good about yourself; while the lack thereof, boomerangs an individuals’ insecurities and causes them to think poorly of themselves. While this may be great for the developers profiting off of this ingenious scheme, it could be detrimental to the mental health of these social media site abusers … I mean users.
Is it really the fault of the super-rich, whom create these susceptible ploys, which the unfortunate unconsciously latch onto? I think not. The grand issue hardly ever points to the creators to blame. The problem lies within the consumers; for it is them, and them alone, who’ve too often given overly-inflated value to what the creators create. Don’t like that theory? I’m not very fond of the thumb fetish anyway.
The truth may remind your tastebuds of unsalted leafy greens, but believe me when I say, “it’s good for you!” So open up, because here comes the sane train. Choo, choooo … Choose to gauge your intrinsic worth by means outside of the quantity of likes on your best-out-of-ten-takes selfie. There could be a number of annoying reasons why the nosey ‘friends’ you have little to no association with offline, lazily skipped over your meaningful content; and instead reserved your like for the semi-comical colon or publicly exposed vagina on their timeline. The world may never know.
Seek confirmation of who you are through yourself. No amount of likes is capable of making you any better or worse of a person than you already are. If you’re a good person at heart with only a few likes per post, you’re still a good person. If you’re a human asswipe with thousands of likes per post, you’re still an asswipe. It’s really that simple.
Look at likes, followers, and all of that other cliche’ crap as an adult numbers game: the persons with the highest scores have likely been playing the game a lot longer than you have, or simply have the cheat codes. Behind those seemingly astronomical numbers, you’ll find that your idols are just like you. Human.
On that note, there’s nothing more human than wanting to be somebody, with an important speaking role, on this crowded world stage. That feeling in itself is completely normal … but only if you’re being inspired by it and not consumed by it.
What a shame it would be for you to decide not to inspire one person, all because you’re not yet in the position to influence many. You’re already the main character to someone out there. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Likes will never — emphasis on ever — be greater than LOVE.
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