While randomly poking at the internet before heading to bed I discovered that this is a thing.
Just let that sink in there for a moment. Someone created a bot that will auto “like” all of a particular persons Instagram posts.
I’m not going to get all hypocritical and try and suggest that I don’t want people to like or read or comment or view anything I post. That’s why anyone posts anything in the first place. But I can’t imagine getting upset that someone, anyone, didn’t “like” every gods damn thing that I post. A quick skim through of my Facebook timeline shows mostly pictures of The Peanut interspersed with random otter videos that Flower has found. Why didn’t you like those? Do you hate otters?!
The first encounter I had with this concept was nearly eight years ago when the South Park episode “You Have 0 Friends” first aired. For those that haven’t seen it, Stan is coerced into getting on Facebook even though he doesn’t want to. Then everyone starts getting on his case for not “liking” every random, inane thing they post online. Eventually his profile takes on a life of it’s own, sucks him into a virtual world, a la Tron, then has to battle his profile so he can delete it.
Up until that episode I hadn’t really thought that that was a thing. That someone might get upset if I didn’t “like” the cat picture they posted sometime late at night that I didn’t see because I was too busy writing a post about people complaining about others not liking their posts. Thankfully, no one I know has ever been upset at me for not “liking” something. At least not that they’ve told me. And if they know me at all they probably know better than to tell me anyway.
I started this post with the intent of asking a whole series of questions such as “has society really become so insecure that we need to beg and plead for likes?” But then I realized that all those questions have a single answer: Yes. Just look at any YouTube video. Chances are somewhere at the beginning, end, or both, the creator asked you to “like and follow” them. I glanced over an article yesterday about how Twitch streamers are starting all sorts of drama with each other to boost their own ratings. It must be exhausting. Yes, chances are there is money involved from ad revenue and they bigger they are the more money they make, but it still comes of a little desperate.
I recall, some years ago, a controversy surrounding how YouTube calculated total views. People who were earning add revenue were getting upset that they didn’t think all their views were being counted based on how the counter worked. In reality they were all being counted behind the scenes as YouTube verified the validity and after awhile things would resume as normal. This, of course, makes sense when there is money involved. If you’re paying to have your add played you want to make sure that you’re actually getting views and not just paying out for someone hitting refresh an hundred times.
Of course I like getting liked. Everyone does. Even a few here or there. But now we’re talking about you and your friends. And all of a sudden someone likes every single one of your posts. As you post them. At the exact moment you post them. And also they’re not your mother. How meaningful is that? Have we become so insecure that even though we know it’s not real we still crave the perceived attention?
Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to like this post and follow for more!