Are we creating a society constantly craving approval?

By Paola Bassanese



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What type of society are we creating?


I love social media. What I don’t love about it is the tendency of social media of creating “approval addicts”.


“Please like me!” has become the common mantra for pictures, facebook pages, and various other profiles.


Seeking approval strips you of any control over your self-worth.


Looking for recognition outside of yourself makes you a weaker person suffering with an ever-increasing identity impairment.


Not being liked is a fact of life. People have opinions and relying entirely on opinions to establish your own identity is dangerous.


In the big scheme of things, how important is it to be “liked” by thousands of people?


In The Social Animal, David Brooks analyses the behaviour of politicians, whose sole purpose in life is to be liked by the masses in order to be elected (and re-elected).


Charm, manipulation, charisma… they are all tools and currencies used to buy approval. But, as you can imagine, this currency is volatile and an emotional/economic crash is inevitable.


Sometimes, a “digital diet” is the best thing you can do to avoid social conditioning – but even if you don’t touch your mobile for say, one day, your friends, family members and co-workers will, so in a way you are surrounded.


In a great article about the dangers of being liked at all costs, Michael Reynolds advises to “stop chasing likes and let your social following grow organically by being a resource to others”.


If I may add my own, final thought, I would say that being original, creative and helpful to others is what matters. And if someone doesn’t like it, actually that is an achievement.


What do YOU think?


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