“I desperately need validation in my life so PLEASE click the Like button”
The Internet has made our lives so much easier in the way we express ourselves, including an invention that allows us to show some form of approval, agreement, or pleasure at something that has been posted up – the “Like” button. Its main habitats are Facebook, Youtube, and 9gag and other media-sharing sites. It’s great for expressing pleasure, agreement or acknowledgement of something when we’re too lazy to actually come up with something to say. Unfortunately for some people it has somehow unofficially become the universal measurement of how much you’re worth.
The extent of how desperately people try to get validation for themselves through “Likes” is actually kind of pathetic. At least with corporations trying to market and sell things, and celebrities looking to increase their fame, they actually have something to gain through “Likes”. But for some unmentionables on the internet, the only thing they gain is a changing number on the screen that indicates that somebody has seen what they have posted.
Here are some of the things I have seen people say and do to get some kind of validation that they exist ever since the “Like” button has appeared on the Internet.
“Here is a picture of a dying child. Facebook will donate $1 to giving them treatment for every like and/or share!”
I’ve seen pictures of an unfortunate child/animal picture accompanied by “For every share, Facebook will donate $1!” Imagine Mark Zuckererg at a hospital, telling the parents of a baby with a tumour coming out of its face “Hey, I know you can’t afford to give your kid life-saving treatment. So how about this – instead of giving you money out of the kindness of my heart because I own a multi-billion dollar company, I’ll take a picture of your dying baby, give it to some random person on Facebook to upload, and every time somebody LIKES this picture of your dying kid or shares it around so that other people can see your dying kid, I’ll give you a dollar. But the thing is, if no one likes or shares this picture of a dying baby, you get nothing”. Why don’t people ever think before validating someone’s immoral attempts of getting pleasure out of sharing other people’s misfortunes? (wait, that sounds familiar…)
“Here is a picture of a sick/dying child or animal. 1 like = 1 prayer (alternatively: Share if you have a heart)”
Similar to the above, this is a new trend that I’ve seen happening and it drives me nuts for two reasons. The first is that the person who posted it is probably just trying to feel important every time someone likes or shares their thing, and does so by appealing to people’s good nature by posting something unfortunate. Secondly, one like does not equal one prayer. With this logic, maybe I’ll just post something like “This is my blog post. 1 like = 1 puppy smiling and playing on a rainbow”. That’s a whole lot of happy puppies on rainbows from a ‘like’, just like the many so-called prayers from those likes. You want prayers? Then get people to pray or pray yourself, or actually take some kind of material action about the situation – don’t get them to click a freaking button just so you feel like you’ve actually made difference when you really haven’t done a thing. If someone really wanted prayers for something, they would say “Please pray for _____” – not effectively saying “In order to offer a prayer, you must like this post”.
What’s even worse is that the people who actually “like” the post probably have some kind of sense of accomplishment now that they’ve totally made a difference to the subject of the post. Congratulations, you know how to operate a mouse – plenty of moral satisfaction in that, isn’t there? Here’s an idea – don’t validate someone else’s sad attempt at achieving nothing with your own sad achievement of nothing.
And this whole “Share if you have a heart!” or “Share if you love your mother, keep scrolling if you don’t (or other statement of the like)” bullshit – why the hell is my moral capacity being assessed against the amount of shitty posts that I have to like/share anyway?
“I hate cancer. Like if you agree!”; “I am alive. Like if you are also alive!”
I also like to call this the “HEY EVERYONE, I LIKE TO STATE THE OBVIOUS. PRESS LIKE IF YOU AGREE WITH THE OBVIOUS” post. Someone will say something obvious that just about everyone agrees with, in the hope that everyone actually expresses their agreement. This is just a small issue, but sometimes the post might not be so blatantly obvious or agreeable, such as “I think abortion is wrong. Like if you agree.” For crying out loud – the “like” button is impliedly an expression of agreement – you don’t have to tell people to do so. One would assume that all the people who “like” the statement agree with the statement.
And what’s with the people who tell me to “like” their post if I literally like what they’re posting? For example, “Like if you like this song! *posts link*” Hey dumbass, am I going to press ‘like’ if I hate the song? Or maybe I didn’t know that when Facebook says “like”, it’s the same meaning as the everyday use of the word “like”?
“If this gets X amount of likes, I will donate $1 to Charity Y”
Is nobody humble anymore? Why do you need people to acknowledge your good deed that you haven’t even done yet, in order to actually do said good deed? If you really cared about the cause you’re claiming to support, you would do it unconditionally and not wait around for a bunch of people to tell you to do it through a “like” button. If you’re trying to market your business by bribing people with a fuzzy feeling that they made a difference in exchange for a larger audience to market, then that just makes you even worse. Shame on you.
“‘Like’ for a tbh! (i.e. publicly kiss your ass)”
For the not-so-hip, this means “If you like this status, I’ll post my honest opinion about you on your page” (honest usually somehow equating to ‘I don’t know you that well but here are a bunch of good adjectives’). I don’t know who deserves more of a beating – the person who wrote the status originally or the insecure people who actually like the status in order to have something nice about them published on the Internet for others to see. Then again, I think it’s a fair deal for the individuals involved – attention in exchange for attention. Honestly, the insecurity of people that causes them to require such validation is astounding. Go make some real friends in the real world so that you don’t need your ass kissed constantly to feel needed, please!
Now that you’ve read how not to seem like an insecure git on Facebook, you can move onto my guide on how not to be an attention-seeking Facebook whore (though insecure git is quite close to attention seeking). On that note … please “like” this blog post. I’ll give money to charity for every like, and so will WordPress, and I’ll give my honest opinion about you too. Also, 1 like = 1 smiling puppy playing on a rainbow.