It has been touched on countless times by journalists, experts and armchair critics of social media – but the topic still bothers me : why do ‘likes’ matter so much? No, scratch that. Why do we feel like they matter so much?
I find myself scrolling through Instagram sometimes, wondering how a simple, not-particularly-well-taken photo of 2 girls can get 200 likes, or a bowl of noodles can get 100. I take a peek at the list of ‘likers’ and randomly check some of them out- they seem legit, and just as popular. & then I go back to my own photos, some of which struggle to even get the hallowed number 11 (thus saving one from the ‘shame’ of having the likers’ names still appear).
Worse, doubts start creeping in about real friendships. You start wondering if it means anything if your supposed close friends don’t even ‘like’ the stuff you post on social media. I mean, wasn’t this in the Handbook of Things Good Friends Should Do? Like every post. Help you stalk your crush. Be your #1 cheerleader. But then I remind myself of our offline interactions. Or how sometimes even though these people don’t ‘like’ my posts, they PM/whatsapp me/meet me in real life, which is more personal and takes things beyond a ‘well-I-know-what-you’re-up-to-&-you-seem-fine-here-have-a-like’.
It’s true that we constantly filter and edit, but I have on occasion (OH FINE YOU WANT TO BE PARTICULAR ABOUT IT? QUITE OFTEN) exposed my angry; insecure; vulnerable self online. I don’t put up a pretense that everything is fine. If I’m pissed, expect a passive-agressive status. If I’m depressed, expect a mopey one. Yes, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I know that some people don’t like it, but I feel like if I wanna broadcast my feelings to the world, then let me, goddamnit! If you wish to show no concern, scroll past it & move on with your life.
Sometimes we stop ourselves from sharing something if we think it won’t get a lot of likes, and I guess that’s sad. But honestly I feel like after a certain point, it doesn’t really matter who likes my stuff and how many people do. I think that’s what they call the ‘bliss point’ or something, where you reach the peak of satisfaction and then it plateaus or goes downhill from there. Too much of a good thing & all that.
So I vow to stop feeling lousy about myself just because people don’t ‘like’ me enough. It would be wise, I think, to step away from it all, but I’m in too deep. Guess I’ll just have to limit my number of posts (which I have been trying to do…) and focus on other things – like actually doing stuff and talking to people IN REAL LIFE.
P.S: Thank you for reading my blog posts. (: Because a few of you have told me that you actually enjoy reading them and can somewhat relate, I feel motivated to work on my childhood dream of becoming a published author. I don’t quite know how to go about it, but I do promise that if & when my stuff gets published, you guys will get a signed copy!