The other day my wife and I were talking about a post she had posted and how she was surprised that she only had X number of “Likes” on Facebook. It’s funny how dramatically different we measure our lives today versus just 5 short years ago. Today we measure the love of our friends, family, acquaintances, and customers by the number of “Likes” we get on Facebook. Most people don’t place a ton of weight on the number of “Likes” or even “friends” we have on Facebook, but when we feel particularly witty, or have a “big news” event in our lives we now look to Facebook to determine who really cares.
I think back on how we measured the affections of our friends in the past and compare it to the nature of friendship today. In the past if you had big news and expected lots of attention you would make a phone call to the biggest gossip, or maybe just your sister/mom/best friend and tell them all the details. This would then be passed on by word of mouth and eventually the people that care most would say something about this big news when next they saw you. This was the way you knew acquaintances from real friends. The people that went out of their way to bring up or even call you about your awesome news or witty observation. This was the case just 5-7 years ago. Now it’s a completely different world.
My brother and his wife are expecting another child this year. To announce this he took a picture of their daughter wearing a bib with the word “Sister” on it with his phone and texted and posted the picture to Facebook. In the past this news would have been a few phone calls and then dozens of “congratulations” from those lucky enough to hear the news from the “selected” group of “firsts”. (As a note and from personal experience that group of “firsts” should have Mom at the top…trust me on that one) It’s a different world than when we had our first child in 2001. Communication is broad, instant, and easy. I can tell everyone that cares with the stroke of a few keys or the swipe of a smartphone screen. Then I can measure the care of those by their clicks or tap on a silly little word “Like” and I can measure the quality of their care by the comments or shares that are generated from those posts.
I know there’s a business lesson in this anecdote but I’d just like to have that lesson come from you in the comments section below. What are the dangers and rewards of measuring our lives by “Likes”? Leave your answer below.