We All Have A Like Button

There’s a lot to like out there. Like…pizza! I like sharing my interests with others who are like-minded. You and I like connecting with people. We all like the camaraderie, the feeling of belonging, and being accepted. We like to be liked!

Please push my like button

Clicking “like” became tremendous on Facebook. In an article about the birth, growth, and strength of the “Like” button, for example, it aptly states:

“Like’s growth is a result of both design decisions and the human craving to be, well, liked.” – Victor Luckerson, The Rise of the Like Economy, The Ringer

We seek validation from others; you see this online. Social media gives us a huge way to crave approval or affirmation, like a child starving for attention.

Self-awareness is cool

I think we should be aware of our need or want for social approval since it’s such a big deal – a fundamental force – in our lives. It affects our actions everyday, and it influences key life decisions.

With this self-awareness in mind, I came across a fancy term:

Self-Aggrandizement – the action or process of promoting oneself as being powerful or important.

Because you and I like to be liked, we promote ourselves – especially online – as being like-able or important. In another word, cool.

The way we present ourselves online – our digital persona – is affected by our deep desire to fit in with others.

But we also want to promote ourselves as better than others. We compete for attention online. People only have so many “likes” to give. So we brand ourselves some way to attract those likes.

Like, hey, I’m cool like you and cooler than others. So we should be friends.

Promoting authenticity

There’s a theme in the blogosphere – authenticity.

Many personal bloggers strive to be genuine and authentic. They don’t just wanna score cool-points; they value real connection – a relationship – with their readers.

Authenticity is admirable!

Part of being authentic includes being self-aware. Reality check– we should recognize our own desire for popularity and be watchful of our urge to promote our own importance.

If you are honest with yourself and admit to some self-aggrandizement, two good things can happen: first, you can avoid sharing online primarily for attention (e.g. promoting yourself as a brand). Second, it will cause you to also be more honest with others.

Honesty is a key part of authenticity.

Getting real

Besides my own blog, my Twitter account is my social media hang-out online. I know I’m not popular or cool. I don’t have many followers. And my account has no blue check-mark badge, meaning I am not a Verified person. Being verified is all about authenticity.

And I’m cool with that. I’m not important enough to be verified! How awesome is that? Ok, little joke there.

At the top of my Twitter profile, I pinned a Tweet that read:

“Allow me to impress you with how unimpressive I am.”

I’m trying to be witty with irony and honesty. It’s a way of saying I’m cool with being not cool.

But at the same time, I’m aware that I might sometimes try to come off as cool; I hope to not come off as pretentious.

So my pinned Tweet is like a humble-brag. It sounds like I’m one to “promote myself for promoting anti-self-promotion.”

Just like everyone else, I struggle with authenticity and self-aggrandizement. I sometimes waver between honesty and hypocrisy. I am a paradox of both vanity and modesty. Yep, sounds like I’m human after all.

Wrap up

I think the more self-aware we are, the better off we’ll be. Then we will grow.

We are all works in progress. We have grace and time to do the work, to do our best, to become our best.

I don’t always like myself. But I like that I can work on that.

And maybe if I make myself better, then I’ll get more clicks on my “like” button.

What do you think about being authentic?