(Note: This is a humorous look at the way our brains become obsessed with whatever it is that is currently the target. Please do not take this as an instruction manual, a criticism, a direction to follow, or anything else other than a wry observation of myself and my inherent quirks.)
Sooooo, yesterday I posted two things on Facebook: a photo of a heart-shaped mushroom I found in my yard, and a photo of me holding a print copy of my book, Tilted Windmills. Both of those photos showed up online about 18 hours ago, within about half an hour of each other.
Within minutes, somebody–five somebodys–liked the mushroom (it was the first photo to go up). Within half an hour or so, I had seven likes. Then my book photo went up. (It is beside the point that I think this is one of the few good pictures of me. Elliott took it–after insisting I wear a collared shirt–I chose his, and we won’t talk about his manly physique as he took the photo–and he did a great job.) Moments went by, and five more likes popped up. My heart swelled. It overflowed. Somebody–five somebodies–like me!
So every half hour or so–despite a good movie, despite cooking and cleaning, despite a life apart from Facebook–I checked my Facebook page. And with every like, my ego blossomed and expanded way beyond its normal boundaries. At latest count, after about 21 hours, I had a total of 35 comments and a whopping 62 likes. (We are ignoring the fact that I made comments myself, and that the same people might have liked both. Why let reality intrude?)
And sad to say, I still want more. More, more! What can I do to get more of these ego-boosting affirmations? No wonder people live on Facebook (or social media of choice). It’s all about me, we all think.
There must be something I can do to stay on top of the heap, keep my beaming smile right there in front of everybody. Despite all this unwarranted popularity, I still want more likes, and there’s a voice in the back of my head that tells me if I edit my photo, it’ll pop back to the top of everyone’s list. Maybe more people will see it. Maybe I’ll get more likes. Thankfully, common sense intrudes before I do anything silly, but I realize that getting these likes is an addiction. It’s pleasing to us, and what’s not to like about that? We always think we deserve more pleasure in our lives, and everybody I know works very hard at whatever it is they do, and they truly deserve a happier life (not that most aren’t happy, but you get the idea).
In the end, all those “me’s” probably cancel each other out. It’s not about *any* of us, it’s about *all* of us. A group, a whole, a community. Getting likes is a way of saying, “I’m part of this community, a valued member.” We all are.
Now maybe I can post a link to this blog–that’ll do it. And a photo of me, maybe showing a little cleavage this time… Oh it’s a slippery slope. Addiction like this is insidious. We rationalize that what we want will be good for everybody. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see more cleavage? (Don’t answer that.)
Or perhaps this is my fifteen minutes of fame and *blink* it’s over.
I wonder what I can photograph tomorrow?