The Trap of Likes

Most of us tend to keep checking who has liked the photos we’ve posted on Instagram or Facebook. And even start comparing the number of likes our posts have received over others. When I started this blog and started sharing articles as part of my Whatsapp stories, I too would keep checking to see how many have viewed my story. And the kind of reactions my posts get.

In an age where we can perfectly showcase our whole life on social media for everyone to see, like, comment, congratulate and approve, it is but natural to have a sneaky sense of comparison. And we get stuck in the trap of craving for likes and affirmation from all and sundry. And don’t worry about it, you are not alone! We look for attention on social media thanks to a hormone called dopamine.

Dopamine is one of the brain’s neurotransmitters and the “feel-good” hormone that helps regulate emotional responses and other functions, such as motivation. Your brain releases dopamine when you experience pleasure. People want to release dopamine; the dark side of the hormone helps explain why people become addicted to drugs and even social media. Dopamine causes us to seek, desire, and search. Dopamine is stimulated by unpredictability, by small bits of information, and by reward cues—pretty much the exact conditions of social media.The pull of dopamine is so strong that studies have shown posting is harder for people to resist than cigarettes and alcohol.

But life is way more than likes on Instagram! There is so much more to life than just what we portray or see what others showcase on social media. Our self-worth is not found in likes. Are you still going to be Instagram-ing when you’re 80-years-old? Are the ‘likes’ that you are working for now going to help you land your first job? Is posting the photo with better lighting going to keep the lights on in your apartment?

Here are a few places you can find your worth if you still feel like your online feed is your ideal life: your work, accomplishments, relationships, ability to empathize with others, attitude, contributions to society, how you impact others, and your drive to make yourself successful, happy, and whatever else it is your inner desire feels.

In this day and age, we can become so consumed and lost in translation when it comes to the imagery of our lives online. May our self-worth and value never be based on the likes we receive but on the love we show all who we encounter everyday! 🙂

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