How Many “Likes” Am I Worth?

As I scroll down my newsfeed on Facebook on any given day, I get flooded with small glimpses of my “friends” lives, no matter how mundane.  So and so had a baby.  That chick I knew in middle school just got married.  Jane Doe hates oranges.  All the statuses, tags, and pictures come together into a neat little package that becomes part of our online identity.

But, is this concept of sharing changing us socially?  Are we becoming a more narcissistic society because of it? 

Just think, when you make a profile on websites like Facebook, you’re advertising yourself to your audience or “friends.”  You have the option to put everything about yourself out on the table from your jobs to your favorite movies.

But that’s not where the narcissism comes in.  It’s the “like” system in particular that I believe truly brings that out for us.  For a lot of people, the amount of likes they get on a post is the payoff for putting their statuses and pictures online (and I’m using Facebook as the example since I have the most experience with it).  We seem to desire that quantitative feedback.  We want people to like us and what we are doing.  We want to see that little, red notification on the top of our screen that shouts out “Hey, look!  Some people think you’re pretty awesome.  Come on, click me!  Click me!” (in the Joker voice)

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It’s an addiction of sorts that unconsciously ends up defining our self-worth.  Without any words, we’re asking ourselves, “How many likes am I worth? Why does my average post leave me with two likes instead of what’s her face, who can easily get 50 for all her selfies?  Am I not funny enough?   Was my new haircut not as cute as I thought?”

The same concept can be applied on WordPress (as well as many other sites).  Just think, on WordPress you get notified when you get a certain amount of likes and follows.  And to add to that, those achievements live in your “trophy case” so you can look upon them with pride or sulk over the emptiness.

Even though I believe the online world enables us to be more “me” orientated, I don’t think it’s the only factor to consider.  Even before the internet, did we as humans not want and seek approval in other ways?  Does the internet simple enhance desires that were always present?

What do you think?


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