Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Psychology of the Like

There's something fascinating, compelling, and a little bit insidious about "liking" stuff on Facebook and Instagram, and probably lots of other social media that I'm too lame and old to be using (or worse/better yet), that I don't even realize exists.

The "liking" process is addictive for the likers and the liked alike. It's fun to toggle back and forth between icons on your phone, tracking a quantifiable level of validation in the form of bright little red and orange numbers.

It's equally fun to scroll through other peoples' business at a rapid fire pace, almost arbitrarily "liking" stuff and simultaneously making a value judgment or sending a message; often without--quite literally--giving it a second's thought.

And that works fine for people who have healthy relationships with the world: you know, the people who eat three balanced meals a day, exercise briskly for 30 minutes five days a week, and get 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Those people can do things with psychological moderation.

The rest of us (and you know who you are) will read this and secretly know exactly what I mean, even if you refuse to admit it to yourself.

To prove you're not one of those pathetic people, please "like" this post right now.

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