It started out innocently enough. A simple phrase, a quote if you will, coupled by back and forth banter that produced my first LIKE. I became excited about the idea of someone actually LIKING my post. There was a little Sally Fields in me as I accepted this newfound appreciation. The euphoric feeling was similar to the time I first spotted my own name in the Michigan State student directory – I was overcome with emotion! I had arrived. And now, the LIKEs I began to receive catapulted this addiction to another level. Every waking moment, every breath I took, was propelled by the fuel I was taking in because of my popularity. And then I realized as I sat in the middle of my room – alone – shivering – and destitute. I had become a whore for LIKEs. My name is Daniel and I am addicted to LIKEs.
My life didn’t start out this way. I was never a big attention whore. In fact, I was somewhat reserved. I wasn’t the type of person to blatantly display a desire to be noticed. But the technology made it so easy. Now there are LIKE buttons everywhere, they are unavoidable. Each new application insists on creating this sense of competition by allowing each of us to cast our votes on a minute by minute basis. Do you LIKE the restaurant? Do you LIKE my pic? Do you LIKE my posts? Do you like my YouTube of my bouncing on the edge of a cliff? Argh! It’s overwhelming. Help!
In the beginning I would make sure I rationed my guarded inventory of LIKEs so that I would not waste them. I didn’t know at the time that the companies allowed for an infinite number of LIKEs available for my disposal. Thus, I was careful to provide my opinion to only those posts that really mattered.
Then I became sucked into the attention machine. That’s when things began to unravel for me.
I quickly realized the success to gaining more attention…ahem…LIKEs was to reciprocate. If I was generous with my LIKEs then I might have others provide for me the same. And boy was I right. I used my mother for LIKEs, my nieces and nephews, my kids, even my dog! However, I can’t turn back the hands of time and the phenomenon is out of control. I dread the day when applications add a DISLIKE button. What if my posts end up on the higher side of DISLIKEs than LIKEs? YIKES!
At any rate, I vow to get this addiction under control. I believe we should be able to express ourselves however we like to – no pun intended – and not have to worry whether someone is paying attention to our thoughts. It doesn’t matter whether you like to take pics of your food, show Fluffy the cat doing backflips, or provide deep thoughts like Stuart Smalley. Just be true to whom you are and screw everything else. And if you are fueled by the popularity bug in social media then so be it – just be ready that the bug could come back to bite you should our life patterns change. You, too, might find yourself in a help group for addictions.
In the meantime – please LIKE my post! I appreciate it!
Go well and with LIKEs good peeps.