When Facebook rolled out the “like” button in 2009, it was seen as a way to quickly connect with friends and family online. But the little button has had some unintended consequences.
The “like” button is now Facebook’s most evil invention because it has turned us into a generation of digital narcissists who are addicted to “likes” and “shares.”
Here’s how the “like” button has changed our behavior:
1. We Seek validation from strangers
The “like” button has turned us into a generation of digital narcissists who seek validation from strangers. We are addicted to “likes” and “shares” because they give us a quick hit of dopamine, the same chemical that is released when we eat food or have sex.
2. We only share the “highlight reel”
Because we are seeking validation from strangers, we only share the “highlight reel” of our lives on Facebook. We post photos of our vacations, our kids’ birthdays, and our best friend’s weddings. But we don’t post photos of our fights with our spouses, our kids’ tantrums, or our own funerals.
3. We compare our lives to others
When we see our friends’ “highlight reels,” we compare our lives to theirs and we often come up short. We see their beautiful vacations, happy families, and successful careers and we wonder why our lives are not as perfect. This comparison can lead to feelings of envy, jealousy, and depression.
4. We lose touch with reality
Because we are only seeing the “highlight reel” of our friends’ lives, we lose touch with reality. We forget that everyone has problems and that no one’s life is perfect. This disconnection from reality can lead to anxiety and depression.
5. We become addicted to “likes” and “shares”
The more “likes” and “shares” we get, the more addicted we become. We start to believe that our worth is based on the number of “likes” and “shares” we have. This can lead to a dangerous spiral of seeking validation from strangers and comparing our lives to others.
The “like” button is a powerful tool that can be used for good or evil. It’s up to us to decide how we use it.