The Culture of “Likes”, “Loves” and “Favorites”

I’m a social media fan. I have accounts with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I use them for various reasons. Facebook to communicate with friends and play games. Twitter for news feeds and randomness. Instagram to share photos I take and see what photos celebs and others I follow take. In other words, my social media footprint is as large as the average social media user. While there is enough between the three of these platforms to keep a person busy, there is one other thing that can change the way a person handles social media.

It is the “Likes”, “Loves” and “Favorites”.

For Facebook, we can “like” a post. It can be a status update, a picture, something we mentioned or repeated on our page. For Instagram, it is whatever picture or video we posted. For Twitter is can be comments, articles, retweets. These things consciously and subconsciously can configure us how we are going to present ourselves in social media. Suddenly, speaking out, taking pictures, bringing attention to an article or a cause isn’t purely because of what we a person appreciates, but it can be what is considered popular. March to the beat of your own drum? It can be done if you don’t care what others think of you. If you care, then it can color your views.

Case in point. I like taking pictures. I take them with my Iphone or DSLR. I like to post them on the various social media platforms. I do it cause I see something and I think it would be cool to share my perspective. In some cases I don’t get anyone’s attention and that fine. Then there are those times I get a lot of attention. While I tell myself it is nothing, I can’t help but be sucked into enjoying the attention whatever I did on social media is getting. It is addictive. Intoxicating. I find myself amazed by the attention but also flattered and reveling in it. They like me. They really like me.

Not cool.

I don’t want to be driven by how many likes, loves or favorites I get. I want to keep being me. While the adoration is great, have to stay true to myself. I feel this is just a microcosm of our society. Individualism is sometimes lost because the appeal is for mass acceptance. Look at hipsters. There was a time when hipsters were outsiders. Now people try to be hipsters to the point that real hipsters are abandoning it cause trying to be a hipster is the opposite of being a hipster.

I’m not immune to seeking out appreciation but I certainly know that all that adoration and appreciation isn’t real. Real life doesn’t have every day filled with that. Real life has a number of anonymous days. The adoration and appreciation should be for the person. Not for what they post, repost, photograph or say. Conviction should be appreciated. That’s the true measure of a person.

If only it was easier said than done.

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