“Like” Madness Generation

Obviously today most people use social media as a way of establishing contact and maintaining ties. As @nancybaym (https://twitter.com/nancybaym) says “social interactivity is the ability of a medium to enable social interaction between groups or individuals” and Facebook and Instagram can definitely do that. The “reach”, a term coined by Gurak included in @nancybaym’s book “Personal Connections In the Digital Age”  talks about how a single keystroke can send a message to thousands of people. This is where my social media pet peeve comes in. Okay, social media is great because it is so easy to connect with each other but messages, photos are not meant to have a huge reach when they are personal. Girls nowadays don’t get this. They are Like thirsty meaning they will do anything to get their picture “reach” more people, and get more likes.

As a 19 year old girl,I admit it!  I can’t live without my Instagram and Facebook for more than 4-5h in a day, but there are certain things that annoy me from my “friends” and “followers”.

As mentioned in the “ Anthropological introduction to youtube” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU) we all live in an integrated mediascape and the center is us in which we reveal powerful messages about our identity. But watch out there are so many social media pet peeves that popped into my head in a minute.

The “Attention Seeker” issue

Facebook_like_thumb-500x427

 In Facebook it annoys me so much when I see people reposting their pictures, tagging and untagging themselves, sharing their pictures in order to increase the number of likes. Like seriously girl, calm yourself –likes don’t show anything. You can post a picture of yourself looking stunning and it will probably get less likes than lets say, Cara Delevingne’s fish.

http://instagram.com/caradelevingne (http://instagram.com/caradelevingne)

Thus, people must not be that eager to seek attention for their pictures by reposting and tagging themselves. I believe its kind of pathetic.  Why do people even gain comfort through their online identity when in reality, it’s just a virtual world? The likes on social media platforms have nothing to do with the level of popularity of a certain person.

Based on the story of a 14-year-old girl named Casey Schwartz:

“habits underscore a new reality for this networked generation: Social networks — and the gadgets they run on — aren’t a distraction from real life, but a crucial extension of it.”

The girl talks about the importance of getting likes on her pictures and how her mood was determined by that.

She states:

“The most important and stress-inducing statistic of all is the number of “likes” she gets when she posts a new Facebook profile picture — followed closely by how many “likes” her friends’ photos receive. Casey’s most recent profile photo received 117 “likes” and 56 comments from her friends, 19 of which they posted within a minute of Casey switching her photo, and all of which Casey “liked” personally.”

“If you don’t get 100 ‘likes,’ you make other people share it so you get 100,” she explains. “Or else you just get upset. Everyone wants to get the most ‘likes.’ It’s like a popularity contest..”

(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/23/teen-iphone_n_3322095.html)

In the offline world I would relate this behavior, with constantly saying to others “ Omg, I look terrible in this picture..do I look fat?” since the person asking is most probably expecting a response as “ no you look so hot, are you joking” just to seem “low-key”.

The #Tags4Likes Issues

Moving on to Instagram, it is so annoying when I see a paragraph of tags under a picture in order to get likes such as #Tags4Likes #InstaCool #InstaLike which say nothing about the picture but are just trying to make it have more likes. Useless tagging is as annoying as trying to make up short abbreviations for every single phrase in real life. TMI (too much information), FYI(for your information) are okay but there is a whole bunch of other words people are trying to make up, or I would better say “cut-down”.

Check  at the screen shot below (http://www.txtdrop.com/abbreviations.php)

Screen shot 2013-09-15 at 3.31.19 PM
So how does one get more likes than expected on Instagram?The solution is the very annoying use of up to 30 hashtags per picture. There are even specific tags related to situations as shown in the screen shot below from (http://www.twelveskip.com/tutorials/instagram/316/most-popular-instagram-tags-that-you-can-copy-and-paste)
Screen shot 2013-09-15 at 3.34.52 PM

And what annoys me most is when people put these hashtags and once they receive the number of likes they feel satisfied with, they erase the hashtags.

Who are they trying to mess with? We all live in a social networked world where people feel empowerment through social media platforms to portray themselves, express their inner feelings.  If you want to get many likes, don’t hide the way you got them.

Indirectly the whole Facebook and Instagram obsession with getting likes is related to Michael Wesch’s video “An Anthropological Introduction to Youtube” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU) and his discussion of how to make a youtube video get noticed.  He says “people are competing to be one of these stars so that they can be seen” indicating the desire to be “virtual stars” and have an online identity which needs to be constantly supported with likes and/or more views.

To all of the people out there that are as hooked to social media as I am, but even more, please try to control your LikeAddiction.

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