If I post something on Facebook and nobody likes it… am I still a real person? Or do I melt away into the postmodern quantum conundrum of oblivion? If the parallel universe of social media conflates with real life, will I fade out of the picture like Marty McFly in “Back to the Future?” Can I exist in both worlds if one of those ecospheres doesn’t acknowledge my updates? Who am I if nobody likes me?
Public validation and social currency have become the life-blood of existence. In order to survive these modern times we need food (organic), water (without toxic chemicals), shelter (that will endure the pending global warming catastrophes), wifi (obvi), and 1 click gestures of adoration.
I check my social media partly to see what you are up to – but mostly to see what you think of me. Did you like that thing I posted about that thing? What about that picture of me? It was kind of silly so I don’t come off as vain, but cute enough where you still think I am cute. What about that comment I made about whatever you wrote about? Did you like that I commented on it? Did you comment back? Hello… Is anybody in there? You guys, I am uncomfortably numb!
(If you didn’t get that Pink Floyd reference, then please listen to more Pink Floyd while high on acid… thanks).
I am one of those people who gets some “likes,” but not a TON of “likes.” Enough “likes” to feel sort of “liked,” but not enough to feel revered.
There are people who get hundreds of “likes.” I am jealous of those people. I don’t think they are posting better shit than me? Their dumb baby isn’t cuter than mine! I also share articles about race wars and dying bees! So why are people “liking” their stupid statuses more than mine? Ohhhh right… because it is not always the post you “like,” but the actual PERSON posting it.
Facebook “likes” are ways we connect to people. We don’t just “like” for the sake of “liking,” but so that person will NOTICE our “like.” It can be a flirty “like”, an act of friendship “like”, or even a way to kiss someone’s ass “like.” Sometimes I “like” someone’s crappy crap just so they will one day “like” me, Toni, the human being. We “like” for all sorts of reasons beyond “liking” the actual content presented. Sometimes I don’t even read what I “like,” but I want the person to know I like them so I do it anyway.
I think I have become a “like” slut ☹
But I am also an equal opportunity “liker.” If I am floating down my feed and see someone post something with no “likes,” I will like it!! I can’t let you go down like that. Even if I don’t like the post, or you that much… unless you are a crusty dick hole and talking about sodomizing seals, I will probably “like” it for the sense of comradery. You are not alone in the world. I am here for you – validating your existence and contribution to the interwebs!
It feels good to collect “likes”- even though you can’t trade them, or cash them in. They aren’t exactly practical, but they are addicting. “Likes” are like my self-esteem. Yet the tragedy of the high of being “liked,” is that we inevitably feel the low when we are not. Man… if I am going to feel this yucky every time I look at my computer, I might as well get into hard-core twin porn.
The insanity of it all is that adulthood is supposed to be that time of life when you finally don’t give a fuck. You don’t need your parent’s approval. There aren’t any popular kids on the playground to impress. This is our moment to be our authentic selves, and not give a shit about shit. But now I have to feel bad about myself if only 2 people “like” the article I posted that Bill Moyers wrote about Ferguson. What the fuck? He had some really important things to say!? Don’t you “like” me enough to “like” the things I want you to read?
(How can you not “like” me? I wear sweaters with hoods that I have had since college, and my eyes are tired from spending too much time in front of a computer!?)