That’s your business.

But, oh how we love to be liked.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

We wish we wouldn’t, but there we are again, back at Facebook checking our splash. We sternly tell ourselves we will limit our check-ins to two a day, just two -- once in the morning and once at night -- but we can’t stop. The itch to see how many likes we got – or, oh my gosh, maybe even loves! – reels us back in.

We can’t help it; we’re wired for love. But then what are we to make of it when a friend gets twice as many likes for her struggle with diabetes as we got for our struggle with heart disease? Is diabetes worse than heart disease? Or maybe better than heart disease? Is it easier to like diabetes? Or easier to like her?

Of course, we can shut it all down and save ourselves the angst, but what if we don’t want to? What if we just want to figure out how not to feel so bad? It’s a tough one because this “being liked” business on social media has such a stamp-of-approval quality to it. And that right there is the trouble: approval is such dangerous territory. It’s so personal and has such a deep feel to it like we’re being approved as a person when all we did was post a picture of our kid playing t-ball.

Connection, on the other hand, could be the way to re-think what liking really means. It’s different, more content-specific – an intersection of interests. Maybe that friend’s trip to Cancun is more interesting to more people than my trip to an antique train festival. Or vice versa, who knows. As they say, that’s their business.

Ultimately, connection is safer because it’s about crossing paths with someone where they are and where we are – and sometimes they aren’t on Facebook! The funny thing is now that Facebook has turned us all into love accountants, even they are getting concerned. In Australia last Friday they started testing out how it would be to keep the love private – only viewable to the person who posted.