I Hope You Like This

It seems like half the world is asking to be “liked” on Facebook, and the other half is desperately seeking vacuous “endorsements” on Linkedin. People on Twitter often demand, in some etiquette-induced haze, that if they “follow” you then you must “follow” them, as if you’re part of some kind of reciprocating engine. Then, of course there are Klout scores, telling you essentially how you stand against others in, well, “likes” and “follows” and “endorsements.”

We’ve become a world of the needy, unable to be comfortable in our own skin, requiring that others validate us for fear we’ll otherwise cast no shadow. Even my dog, Bentley, refuses to beg, though he will drop the food bowl on your foot if you forget his breakfast. Why have we become a nation of people begging for the sanction and succor of others, as if we’re incomplete without it?

I hope you like this, but if you don’t, I really don’t care.

© Alan Weiss 2013

6 thoughts on “I Hope You Like This

  1. I was asking myself the same question. I wonder whether people use social networks to simulate a feeling of accomplishment, because they are unable to achieve it through other means.

  2. It’s a huge vanity publishing opportunity. People can use a platform they’d never gain based on individual talent or merits because no one is vetting or evaluating the quality of the ideas. I can understand the Facebook palaver about getting upgraded to first class or a photo someone took of the moon. I find it banal, but it’s no worse than the mundane talk at most bars or cocktail parties.

    But the pseudo-crediblity of being “endorsed” by people who have no idea of whether the other person has a criminal record or can even write their own name, and being “liked” by strangers for no reason—this is a pathetic and lonely desperation. The idiocy of someone asking me to endorse them when I’ve never heard of them, or to follow them on Twitter because they’ve chosen to follow me, is beneath stupid. Those people on Twitter claiming to follow thousands of people—really? They’re spending entire days sifting through 140-character entries? For what?

  3. I have been thinking about this lately quite a bit too as I’m trying to get a new business off the ground. I’ve come the conclusion that if people appreciate and agree with what your doing and what you are creating they’ll work with you. If they don’t then they won’t.

    This concept of getting people to “Like” me is ludicrous, if someone truly likes and/or respects me than I should already know this or they will show it by reaching out to me for advice, or to become one of my customers.

    • People need to see value for them in what you’re doing. You have to meet THEIR self-interests. Otherwise, they may like what you’re doing and even you, but they’re not going to buy anything.

  4. Thank you for saying what so many people are thinking but don’t say! As someone who grew up in the US and is now living outside the US, many changes have occurred over the past 5-10 years which have magnified the growing narcisstic society I am seeing! I think fb,etc. is about presenting an alternate ‘image’ based on a need for recognition AND political correctness…a sort of distortion of reality don’t you think?

  5. Lynn, I do. I think that people like to create an image for themselves to “advertise” how others should see them (as opposed to how they really are). That’s why all these proclamations about how much they love their partner, and the photos of them addressing some obscure group, or standing next to some pseudo-celebrity, are, at the end of the day, depressingly sad.

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