Facebook Experiment: Approval Central


In the world before 2005, when someone graduated we called them on a telephone (those loopy wired thingies) and congratulated them. When someone went on vacation, we were eager to see them and share their experience. When we took a picture, we showed it only to our near and dear ones. A camera had something called a reel that allowed a person to take only 30 pictures. We tapped into the hippocampal, prefrontal and parietal slabs of the brain to vaguely remember birthdays and anniversaries. Post 2005, everything went downhill.

I love that there is a new way of connecting with old friends and share thoughts. But it’s when all these get out of hand that we see the problem. Meaningful conversations are officially dead. For that matter, conversations are dead. Life has become a movie that needs every scene played out on Facebook.

10:00 AM – Just woke up. [2 people like this]
10:30 AM – Got out of bed. [4 people like this]
11:00 AM – Getting ready for school/college/work. [45 people like this]
12:00 PM – Bit into a sandwich. [5 people like this]
12:01 PM – Didn’t realize there’s no mayo on the sandwich. [18 people like this]
01:00 PM – Blah. [You and 6 others like this]
02:00 PM – Another blah. [423 people like this]
03:00 PM – Blahbidy, blahbidy, blah. [1 zillion people like this]

And so toot the status trains.

Ever seen/received one of these:

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(Picture)

I once received a similar message asking me to log in and like the person’s status. Another time to like their picture. Still other to comment on a status. And every time I was horrified. Whenever I receive messages like this my soul dies a little. Is this what we’ve become? Is this all that we’re about? Someone’s approval? Are we really that desperate? Is that all we need to get on with our life? Even worse. People liking their own statuses and photos. It seems like this person wants to get the ball rolling.

The value of appreciation is no longer sacred. It is given to everything and anything. One need just ask.

Millions of selfies and hundreds of mindless statuses just to get ‘Likes’. Self-esteem is no more about confidence. It’s all about likes. The more people ‘like’ our status/ our picture, the better it is for our self-esteem. Because somewhere behind the virtual veil sits an entity who is a stranger to us yet has approved our coolness and has given us a little ego-boost. Hurrah!

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